Leslie – OBR figures show Brexit has hit public finances with a £900 million black hole

Uncertainty created by Brexit has hit the Government’s tax take by £900 million, the Government’s own economic forecasters admit. It has been described as a “Brexit bombshell” by Chris Leslie MP of the Open Britain campaign.

The Office for Budget Responsibility said in their latest forecast evaluation report, released on Tuesday, that the Government’s revenues from Stamp Duty Land Tax were lower than previously forecast in part due to Brexit.

The OBR said: “receipts were £0.9 billion lower than our March 2016 forecast”, partly due to “uncertainty in the run-up to and following the EU referendum.”

This £900 million could have otherwise been used to pay the annual salaries of 39,000 nurses or 18,000 GPs, research by Open Britain reveals. 

Commenting, Chris Leslie MP, leading supporter of Open Britain, said:

“The Government’s own forecasters are perfectly clear that the Brexit vote has reduced the tax take, leaving less money to spend on our hard-pressed public services like the NHS.

“Instead of leading to more investment in our public services and the amazing people who work in them, Brexit and the Government’s mismanagement of it is leaving our economy in the red.

“It’s about time Ministers acted to stop this Brexit bombshell. That means reversing their ideological choice to leave the Single Market and the Customs Union, and supporting our economy so we have the money to invest in our public services.”



Notes to editors:

This story is reported in the Daily Mirror: http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/politics/philip-hammond-faces-900-million-11327993

The OBR’s forecast evaluation report states: “Stamp duty land tax (SDLT) receipts were close to our March 2015 forecast, as subsequent policy changes offset a shortfall in our underlying forecast. Receipts were £0.9 billion lower than our March 2016 forecast. The underlying forecasting shortfalls largely reflected weakness in the commercial sector, which reflected uncertainty in the run-up to and following the EU referendum and possibly a larger-than-expected behavioural response to the commercial SDLT ‘slab-to-slice’ reform announced in March 2016.”

Source: http://budgetresponsibility.org.uk/fer/forecast-evaluation-report-october-2017/ page 55

Stamp duty is the tax levied on buying property or land above a certain value – currently £125,000 for residential properties and £150,000 for non-residential land and properties.

Source: https://www.gov.uk/stamp-duty-land-tax

In 2016/17, total stamp duty receipts were £11.7bn.

Source: https://www.ft.com/content/75c07c64-29c7-11e7-9ec8-168383da43b7

According to www.payscale.com, £900 million could pay for 39,000 nurses; or 33,000 teachers; or 31,000 firefighters; or 30,000 police officers; or 18,000 GPs.