For every extra £4 spending is cut, it only cuts borrowing an extra 75p

The latest figures on growth (or lack of) are bad for the government’s deficit reduction plan; the government is terrible at cutting borrowing generally.

You still hear the coalition cry that it had to cut spending because “for every £4 that Labour spent, it borrowed £1”.

The evidence is now clear that unfortunately under the coalition plan A we’re doing even worse: for every £4 the coalition cuts in spending, it only cuts borrowing by 75p.

As the economic stagnation of the first full year of coalition Plan A unfolds, the new EY-ITEM club forecast for the year-end borrowing is for it to be at least £8 billion more than the OBR March forecast.

We’ve updated our numbers from last month below:

   
A Budget deficit 2010-11 £136.7bn
B Darling’s budget changes (est frm Mar 10)    -£3.7bn
C OBR June 2010 estimates of policy changes    -£16bn
D Stagnation increase to deficit (EY-ITEM) +£13bn
E EY-ITEM forecast of budget deficit £130bn

As we can see from the table, Darling promised to implement spending cuts of a total of £3.7bn (line B). However Osborne increased that targeted spending cuts by a further £16bn (line C). So from a budget deficit of £136.7bn (line A), Darling aimed to bring UK plc to a deficit of £133bn but Osborne was more ambitious and aimed to bring UK plc’s deficit to a targeted £117bn – a full 16bn more than the Darling plan (Line C).

However due to the slow growth that resulted from the spending cuts needed to implement Osborne’s target deficit reduction, the Ernst & Young ITEM club predicts that HMRC will receive £13bn less than was expected by Darling for this financial year in tax receipts (line D). As a result although spending has been cut by Osborne by £16bn more than Darling would have cut spending (line C), the lost £13bn in tax receipts results in a total net reduction of UK plc’s deficit over and above the Darling target of only £3bn or, to put it in other words, the deficit will be £130bn (line E) compared to Darling’s target of £133bn.

In summary, for the additional £16bn of cuts over Labour’s proposed plan, there has only been a corresponding reduction in UK plc’s deficit of £3bn over what Labour planned or to put it in layman’s terms, so for every £4 the Tories have cut over and above Labour, there has only been an additional reduction in the deficit of 75p.

We repeat that you require growth to cut the deficit.

Labour’s Darling plan for cutting the deficit was based on growth cutting the deficit. And we now know that because 2010-11 saw the fastest growth for a decade that growth cut the deficit by £10bn alone.

This year, with still 6 months to run, the cost of the Plan A stagnation has been £13bn. The ITEM club forecast is now for the coalition will borrow more than Labour in its first year of plan A!

The problem for the coalition is that as a consequence of them breaking their promise to protect our banks from the resurgent international banking crisis this could get even worse. Is it possible that there will be no reduction in the deficit at all?

If our banks are forced to de-lever because the crisis is not addressed, then is it possible that there will be no reduction in the deficit at all?

See also:

The coalition has flunked preparations for this banking crisisCormac Hollingsworth, October 10th 2011

Just who WILL Osborne listen to?Cormac Hollingsworth, October 3rd 2011

Growth cut the 2010-11 deficit as fast as cutsCormac Hollingsworth, September 22nd 2011

Without growth will we even halve the deficit?Cormac Hollingsworth, September 20th 2011

“Unrealistic assumptions”? Who is Mr Osborne talking about?Cormac Hollingsworth, September 7th 2011

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122 Responses to “For every extra £4 spending is cut, it only cuts borrowing an extra 75p”

  1. Ben Bradshaw

    Everyone shld read @CormacHolly 's blog showing the coalition has cut borrowing by just 75p for every £4 of cuts: http://t.co/20QGAjJK

  2. Alex Griffiths

    Everyone shld read @CormacHolly 's blog showing the coalition has cut borrowing by just 75p for every £4 of cuts: http://t.co/20QGAjJK

  3. susan goodwill

    Everyone shld read @CormacHolly 's blog showing the coalition has cut borrowing by just 75p for every £4 of cuts: http://t.co/20QGAjJK

  4. Juliedesforges

    This is a shocker. See how these damaging cuts are hurting without working @leftfootfwd http://t.co/czryiD8A

  5. malcolm

    This is a shocker. See how these damaging cuts are hurting without working @leftfootfwd http://t.co/czryiD8A

  6. david bush

    This is a shocker. See how these damaging cuts are hurting without working @leftfootfwd http://t.co/czryiD8A

  7. Andy

    This is a shocker. See how these damaging cuts are hurting without working @leftfootfwd http://t.co/czryiD8A

  8. UNITED EUROPE NEWS

    V good piece RT @pollytoynbee This is a shocker.See how these damaging cuts are hurting w/out working @leftfootfwd http://t.co/qcYROYin

  9. Joe Fortune

    Everyone shld read @CormacHolly 's blog showing the coalition has cut borrowing by just 75p for every £4 of cuts: http://t.co/20QGAjJK

  10. Kevin Vaughan

    This is a shocker. See how these damaging cuts are hurting without working @leftfootfwd http://t.co/czryiD8A

  11. G Barlow

    This is a shocker. See how these damaging cuts are hurting without working @leftfootfwd http://t.co/czryiD8A

  12. Will Mac

    Whatever the PM says, remember that for every £4 extra he cuts, they're only reducing borrowing by an extra 75p http://t.co/l8fCQoli #pmqs

  13. Rachel

    Whatever the PM says, remember that for every £4 extra he cuts, they're only reducing borrowing by an extra 75p http://t.co/l8fCQoli #pmqs

  14. Sarah H

    Whatever the PM says, remember that for every £4 extra he cuts, they're only reducing borrowing by an extra 75p http://t.co/l8fCQoli #pmqs

  15. arwsto

    RT @leftfootfwd: For every extra £4 spending is cut, it only cuts borrowing an extra 75p http://t.co/P7GToeVj

  16. Marcus Chown

    This is a shocker. See how these damaging cuts are hurting without working @leftfootfwd http://t.co/czryiD8A

  17. SSP Campsie

    Whatever the PM says, remember that for every £4 extra he cuts, they're only reducing borrowing by an extra 75p http://t.co/l8fCQoli #pmqs

  18. James Ross

    Whatever the PM says, remember that for every £4 extra he cuts, they're only reducing borrowing by an extra 75p http://t.co/l8fCQoli #pmqs

  19. Lucio Menin

    V good piece RT @pollytoynbee This is a shocker.See how these damaging cuts are hurting w/out working @leftfootfwd http://t.co/qcYROYin

  20. Martyn Cheney

    Again: The Tories are increasing inflation, increasing hardship, and barely touching the deficit: http://t.co/l8fCQoli #pmqs

  21. SSP Campsie

    Again: The Tories are increasing inflation, increasing hardship, and barely touching the deficit: http://t.co/l8fCQoli #pmqs

  22. David Heathcote

    Again: The Tories are increasing inflation, increasing hardship, and barely touching the deficit: http://t.co/l8fCQoli #pmqs

  23. Catherine Bryant

    Again: The Tories are increasing inflation, increasing hardship, and barely touching the deficit: http://t.co/l8fCQoli #pmqs

  24. Catherine McKinnell

    Whatever the PM says, remember that for every £4 extra he cuts, they're only reducing borrowing by an extra 75p http://t.co/vc8lswTe #pmqs”

  25. Geoffrey Pearson

    Again: The Tories are increasing inflation, increasing hardship, and barely touching the deficit: http://t.co/l8fCQoli #pmqs

  26. Geoffrey Pearson

    Whatever the PM says, remember that for every £4 extra he cuts, they're only reducing borrowing by an extra 75p http://t.co/l8fCQoli #pmqs

  27. Emma Davies

    Whatever the PM says, remember that for every £4 extra he cuts, they're only reducing borrowing by an extra 75p http://t.co/vc8lswTe #pmqs”

  28. Tom

    Again: The Tories are increasing inflation, increasing hardship, and barely touching the deficit: http://t.co/l8fCQoli #pmqs

  29. Kevin Vaughan

    @TimMontgomerie @GuidoFawkes @IainDale @thejamesmax @pollytoynbee

    See how these cuts aren't reducing deficit.

    http://t.co/gcQjg29j”

  30. Tom White

    RT @CatMcKinnellMP Whatever the PM says, remember for every £4 extra he cuts, they're only reducing borrowing by 75p http://t.co/LzqqRKk7

  31. Genevieve Flight

    Again: The Tories are increasing inflation, increasing hardship, and barely touching the deficit: http://t.co/l8fCQoli #pmqs

  32. T M

    Whatever the PM says, remember that for every £4 extra he cuts, they're only reducing borrowing by an extra 75p http://t.co/l8fCQoli #pmqs

  33. Matthew Houlihan

    Again: The Tories are increasing inflation, increasing hardship, and barely touching the deficit: http://t.co/l8fCQoli #pmqs

  34. hesychast

    V good piece RT @pollytoynbee This is a shocker.See how these damaging cuts are hurting w/out working @leftfootfwd http://t.co/qcYROYin

  35. Katy Layton-Jones

    This is a shocker. See how these damaging cuts are hurting without working @leftfootfwd http://t.co/czryiD8A

  36. Jaclyn

    How are we better off? There are no real solutions to problems in part created with excessive spending. This lot are not helping by trying to undo it all at once. At some point the politicians need to be held to account – they don’t lose their jobs they keep bloody well getting voted in again – so we pay for their incompetence.

  37. Stephen W

    This is being willfully stupid. You really think the entire slowdown in growth is attributable to extra cuts? Nothing at all to do with the Eurozone or America or the whole global economy sinking into the mud.

  38. Dan

    This does however assume that Darling’s estimates, unlike that of the OBR, would have been spot on and not downgraded in the face of global economic slowdown. Seeing as its more than just Osborne’s cuts that have slowed down the economy, I would imagine this would not have been the case, and we would be looking at a deficit larger than 133bn if spending hadn’t been cut as much.

  39. Roger_D

    Stephen… the slow down in Europe has very little to do with the problems that the UK is currently experiencing… although it will likely have a big impact in the coming months.

    Why do I say this?
    1) UK *domestic* demand is performing very poorly.
    2) Exports have been performing very well.

    The main way the crisis in Europe would affect the UK is through hurting our exports. Given we don’t have a current problem on that front, the slowdown in growth has to be attributed to a domestic cause.

  40. Oxford Kevin

    Stephen:
    I am not sure how we can be saying that it is the eurozone which is pulling the UK economy down when the eurozone economies have been outperforming the UK economy. Shouldn’t the reality actually be the other way round.

    http://ablog.typepad.com/keytrendsinglobalisation/2011/10/uk_worse_than_eurozone.html

  41. ERL

    Again: The Tories are increasing inflation, increasing hardship, and barely touching the deficit: http://t.co/l8fCQoli #pmqs

  42. Daniel Openshaw

    This is a shocker. See how these damaging cuts are hurting without working @leftfootfwd http://t.co/czryiD8A

  43. Martin Watson

    This is a shocker. See how these damaging cuts are hurting without working @leftfootfwd http://t.co/czryiD8A

  44. Stephen W

    The global economy is much more connected than just looking at whether exports are going up or down. Did the great recession of 2008 come to the UK purely through declining exports? No, of course not.

    The rate of increase in government spending is one of only a number of massive factors affecting the economy. The idea that the only thing that has changed in the expected outlook between Darling’s last budget and now is the rate of increase in government spending is just silly.

    This whole article is motivated by looking for a cheap excuse to take a political dig. Not by any realistic assessment on the economy. Shame on whoever wrote it for talking such rubbish.

  45. Robert CP

    Again: The Tories are increasing inflation, increasing hardship, and barely touching the deficit: http://t.co/l8fCQoli #pmqs

  46. John Shewell

    Top story: For every extra £4 spending is cut, it only cuts borrowing an extra 75p | Le… http://t.co/xg023LiM, see more http://t.co/lJuvUQ3W

  47. Dev Raval

    @rachelburden when you do that (the cuts) check this out, every extra £4 spending cut, only cuts borrowing an extra 75p http://t.co/3yUOoJ5j

  48. Kyle McEvoy

    This is a shocker. See how these damaging cuts are hurting without working @leftfootfwd http://t.co/czryiD8A

  49. sebastian kraemer

    This is a shocker. See how these damaging cuts are hurting without working @leftfootfwd http://t.co/czryiD8A

  50. E Azicate

    Again: The Tories are increasing inflation, increasing hardship, and barely touching the deficit: http://t.co/l8fCQoli #pmqs

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