Whilst things rage in No 10, in No 11 all seems calm
The Prime Minister has been facing many, many battles over the UK’s future relationship with the EU over the past few weeks. We have all been asking ourselves what a customs partnership is, what the European Economic Area is and what would happen if we cut ties with Brussels all together.
However, whilst there may be many noises coming from Number 10 Downing Street, if one was to listen just next door, one may find a relatively placid bunch of civil servants calmly fussing around the UK’s resident Governor of Dad Jokes, the Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond.
And the reason he seems so calm right now?
Official figures showed that he borrowed less than expected last year and that borrowing at the start of the new financial year was the lowest for ten years.
Public sector net borrowing, excluding state-owned banks, fell by £1.6 billion year on year in April to £7.8 billion — the lowest April net borrowing since 2008, whereas economists has expected a reading of £8.6 billion.
The Office for National Statistics also revised down its estimate for the 2017/18 deficit by £2.1bn to £40.5bn.
What does this mean?
If the trend continues, the government could announce more spending in the autumn Budget and still be on course to hit its own target of balancing borrowing and spending by the middle of the next decade.
It shows that a more balanced approach is beginning to yield results, where taxes are low and investments in major infrastructure projects appear to be getting off the ground
Such flexibility in these numbers will also give the Chancellor a push to spend more money on some of the essential services like the NHS, which is rumoured to be getting a major boost in the Autumn budget.
Finally, the Chancellor may be able to deliver some good news and wind down some of the austerity measures that have caused the Government some political harm over the past 12 months.