This is a Budget aimed at addressing the economic fallout of that decision. In the month since the referendum it has become increasingly clear that the vote to ‘Leave’ is set to have a significant impact on our economy.
The immediate outlook suggests that the Treasury’s forecasts, published in May, were a broadly accurate reflection of what is likely to happen in our economy. We now expect the UK economy to enter into recession and for unemployment to rise by hundreds of thousands. Despite this weak outlook we remain committed to eradicating the deficit and achieving a surplus on the overall budget by 2019-20. We are a Conservative Government – our choice is that austerity is a price worth paying.
Of course, the weaker economic forecasts mean a weaker fiscal outlook as well. While we no longer need to pay a contribution to the European Union we cannot escape the fact that a weaker economy means weaker public services, eradicating any positive effect leaving has on the UK’s public finances.
The latest forecasts suggest that the deficit in 2019-20 will now be around £28 billion, compared to the £10.4 billion surplus forecast in the March Budget. This is in line with the analysis set out by the Institute for Fiscal Studies in May. This Budget sets out a plan to get the budget into balance by the end of the Parliament, and achieve a surplus as well.
The plan set out today will have significant implications for our public services, including the NHS. Further reductions in day-to-day spending will accompany tax rises and reductions in welfare expenditure.
Recession, higher unemployment and further austerity – we believe these are a price worth paying for leaving the European Union.
Boris Johnson & Michael Gove
Prime Minister & Chancellor of the Exchequer