CIPFA comment: response to the Chancellor's statement


In response to today’s announcement by the chancellor, CIPFA’s Chief Economist Jeffrey Matsu said:

“Today, the new Chancellor Jeremy Hunt has confirmed that the prime minister’s economic vision is breathing its last breath.

“Almost her entire tax-cutting agenda, delivered only a matter of weeks ago alongside the former chancellor, has been ripped up and thrown out. The new chancellor hammered home that his focus is now on stability to ensure sustainability. The UK will always pay its way, he said, as he confirmed that the government were making yet more massive and historic U-turns.

“The public need trust in their government and the government needs credibility in global financial markets. This government has lost both. During a cost-of-living crisis, Trussonomics was a reckless experiment which will take the government a long time to recover from.

“The savings announced in the reversals to the mini-budget so far amount to £32bn a year – but questions remain about where more money will come from to fill the black hole in the middle of public finances. A fresh round of austerity is neither possible nor desirable.

“Today’s CIPFA/Institute for Government Performance Tracker report reveals the extent to which our public services are already in crisis. There is precious little fat left to trim from most services and performance has not yet returned to pre-pandemic levels.

“The chancellor has warned that all departments will be asked to look for savings, but with public services already stretched to breaking point these cuts will push them to the brink and will significantly impact the most vulnerable in society.”

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