Inside Business

Rishi Sunak is going to start spending again – he has been given the excuse he needs

Any misgivings the chancellor has about rising inflation will be set aside, argues James Moore

Tuesday 25 January 2022 21:30
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<p>Rishi Sunak has the economic headroom to spend more </p>

Rishi Sunak has the economic headroom to spend more

Rishi Sunak is about to turn the money taps on. The latest government borrowing figures – for December – show that the chancellor issued £16.8bn worth of IOUs on our behalf. That number is quite a bit lower than the £18.5bn the City had pencilled in. It is also £7.6bn lower than the same month in 2020.

The total budget deficit racked up between April and December stood at £146.8bn, which is a huge amount, but still £13bn less than the Office for Budgetary Responsibility had forecast.

The economy has come through for the chancellor. Omicron’s impact has proven to be less serious than feared. This time the gamble the government took with the nation’s health, and people’s lives, with its slow move into plan B and its early lifting of Covid-19 restrictions in England, appears to have paid off in a way that previous rolls of the dice did not.

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