Treasury Committee warns government against 'flying blind' with Emergency Budget

The Treasury Committee has urged the government to provide assurance that it is not 'flying blind' into a potential Emergency Budget this September.

In a letter sent to Chancellor Nadhim Zahawi, Mel Stride, Chair of the Treasury Committee, asked whether the Treasury is working with the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) on a forecast to be published with any potential Emergency Budget that may be announced.

The Treasury Committee has outlined to the Chancellor that an OBR forecast would need to include all changes to government policy and economic and fiscal data up to when the new Prime Minister takes office.

The government usually gives the OBR ten weeks' notice of a fiscal event, such as a Budget, to allow officials to provide an independent forecast of the economy and the UK's fiscal position.

In the letter, Mel Stride said:

'As a committee, we expect the Treasury to be supporting and enabling the OBR to publish an independent forecast at the time of any significant fiscal event, especially where, unlike other recent fiscal interventions, this might include significant permanent tax cuts.

'Whether such an event is actually called a Budget or not is immaterial. The reassurance of independent forecasting is vital in these economically turbulent times. To bring in significant tax cuts without a forecast would be ill advised. It is effectively 'flying blind'.'

Internet link: Parliament website

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