Outlook Deficit? What deficit? After days of flashy spending announcements from the Government, poohed poohed and countered by even more promises from Her Majesty’s Opposition, you could be forgiven for forgetting we even had one.
The fact is that the structural deficit – the gap between tax revenues and government outgoings that exists wherever we are in the economic cycle – remains stubbornly high. Higher than Germany’s. Higher even than Greece’s. It’s just that, with the general election looming, none of the three main parties feel like being honest about it.
If ever there was a time for the Office for Budgetary Responsibility to provide a reality check, now would be it. George Osborne’s creation is about to have its independence and its mettle tested like never before.