The UK Chancellor has published his budget plans for the year ahead. When you look beyond all the Tory smoke and mirrors, this budget makes very gloomy reading.
Economic forecasts have been shredded and our living standards face the longest fall in generations. Brexit hasn’t even happened yet but it’s becoming clearer by the day that the future’s far from bright in Brexit Britain.
Here’s what you need to know.
Economic growth forecasts have been slashed.
The Office for Budget Responsibility has reduced its forecasts for economic growth in every year to 2022. As a result, the UK economy will be £42 billion smaller in 2022 than was estimated earlier this year.
The UK faces the longest fall in living standards since records began.
According to the Resolution Foundation, “Britain is on course for the longest period of falling living standards since records began in the 1950s.”
And the Institute for Fiscal Studies has estimated that average incomes in 2022 will still be less than in 2008, with the UK facing two decades with no growth in incomes.
Prices are going up, with inflation at the highest level since 2010.
In October, the Bank of England announced that inflation is at the highest level since April 2012. That means that the prices we pay in shops for things like food and clothes is going up.
The UK’s debt levels are unlikely to fall back to their 2008 level until the 2060s.
According to the IFS, the UK’s national debt won’t fall to its pre-recession level, as a percentage of national income, “until well past the 2060s”.