2012’s deficit reduction goal only saved by £3.5bn 4G auction

Tim Wallace
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THE DEFICIT is falling this year – but only because the government has been bailed out by the transfer of Royal Mail pension assets, the cash surplus from quantitative easing (QE) and a 4G windfall.

The state borrowed £121.4bn in the financial year 2011-12. The headline figure shows it is on track for a deficit of £80.5bn in 2012-13, but estimates from the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) show that removing the pension transfer, QE bailout, Northern Rock and Bradford and Bingley means the deficit stands at £120.3bn – without the £3.5bn 4G windfall, the deficit is up £2.4bn.