James Moore: Treasury ministers will be fans of OBR's forecasts
Outlook Leave it to the Office for Budgetary Responsibility (OBR) to throw a black cloud over the end of a soggy week.
It says the Government will need to find £17bn in tax rises or spending cuts by the 2017/2018 financial year if public debt is to return to pre-financial crisis levels by, erm, 2061.
The OBR concedes that the Coalition's reforms to public-sector pensions cut the UK's liabilities by £175bn between 2010 and 2011.
But we're all still getting older so it's not nearly enough.
The Coalition loves this sort of thing: see, we told you so. The weakness in their thinking, however, has been made rather clear by recent economic data.
By aiming a battleaxe at the head of an economy still on monetary life support from the Bank of England, they are arguably exacerbating the country's fiscal problems rather than making them better; short-term pain for long-term agony.
The cuts aren't even being handled sensibly: ministers are willing to stare down public-sector workers and yet appear to have no compunction about kicking £15bn across the Atlantic for a Trident replacement we don't need and can't ever use.
As for the OBR's forecasts, Georgie, Danno and their chums in the Treasury will point to them as justification for sticking mulishly to their plan A regardless of whether it is economically literate to do so, and regardless of whether they should be taken with anything other than a big pinch of salt. They do, after all, stretch out nearly 50 years into the future.
A forecaster from 50 years ago assessing the fiscal position today would have been using a typewriter and an abacus before sensibly realising that his job was pointless and returning home to watch his black and white telly while the kids listened to the latest single from The Beatles.
- 1 What happens to your body when you give up sugar?
- 2 Have sex with your iPad thanks to the new sex toy no-one asked for
- 3 The 'sex selfie stick' lets you FaceTime the inside of a vagina
- 4 Why you're almost certainly more like your father than your mother
- 5 Westboro Baptist Church couldn't picket Leonard Nimoy's funeral because they didn't know where it was
Mark Zuckerberg: Facebook CEO's one simple test for who to hire
Bali nine: Welcome to 'Execution Island' – the Indonesian holiday resort where foreigners are sent to die
'A girl is more responsible for rape than a boy': The statement that shocked the world... except India
The 'sex selfie stick' lets you FaceTime the inside of a vagina
Saudi Arabia executions now at 'unprecedented rate' after kingdom kills four more in two days
Durham Free School: 'Creationism taught at' free school facing closure
Nearly 100,000 of Britain's poorest children go hungry after parents' benefits are cut
End of the licence fee: BBC to back radical overhaul of how it is funded
Nigel Farage promises Ukip will not 'stigmatise' would-be migrants – and says he wants 'everyone to speak the same language'
Ex-head of MI6: 'We shouldn't kid ourselves that Russia is on a path to democracy'
Most people think legal tax avoidance is just as wrong as illegal tax evasion, poll suggests
iJobs Money & Business
£8 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This Pension Specialist was established early...
£30 - 35k + Bonus & Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking an Executive Assist...
£25000 - £30000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: A global leader operating...
Voluntary post, reasonable expenses reimbursed: Reach Volunteering: Would you ...