Chancellor to face bad news double blow

Ben Southwood
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CHANCELLOR George Osborne faces a bad news double whammy of overshooting borrowing and downgraded growth forecasts on Wednesday, Ernst & Young (E&Y) said this morning.

The Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) is likely to reveal that public sector net borrowing came in at £88bn, the accountant says, against the £80bn they forecast it would hit in the Autumn Statement.

This overshoot came due to worse-than-expected revenues from auctioning 4G spectrum, combined with the Office for National Statistics’ ruling that not all of the gains from the quantitative easing profits grab could be counted in the headline borrowing figures, E&Y Said.

And in another blow to Osborne, the OBR will slash its growth forecast for 2013 from 1.2 per cent to just one per cent, E&Y predicted.