The Office of Budget Responsibility’s Fiscal Sustainability Report, issued today, rejects the idea of a Brexit dividend, saying of the proposed increase in health spending:
The Government has indicated that it will fund at least some of the health package by increasing taxes and/or reducing other spending, but in the absence of firm detail we cannot include this in our projections. It has also said that the announcement will be funded in part by a ‘Brexit dividend’, although our provisional analysis suggests Brexit is more likely to weaken than strengthen the public finances overall.
Commenting, Wes Streeting MP, leading supporter of the People’s Vote campaign, said:
“The independent and highly respected Office for Budget Responsibility are clear: there is no evidence for a Brexit dividend. In fact, Brexit is already battering the public finances, and the Government’s own analysis shows every form of Brexit will leave our country poorer.
“The Government’s botched Brexit will mean less money for nurses, doctors, teachers and police officers. The Brexit choice is between more cuts and austerity, higher taxes, or increased borrowing.
“The Leave campaign promised us another £350 million a week for the NHS and nobody voted for cuts in health spending. Given the promises made to the public will not be kept it is essential we have a People’s Vote on the final Brexit deal.”
Notes for editors
The OBR’s report can be found here: http://cdn.obr.uk/FSR-July-2018.pdf