THE head of the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) was yesterday forced to deny there was a conspiracy to revise down how many jobs would be lost through George Osborne’s budget.
Sir Alan Budd received a grilling from the Treasury select committee yesterday over accusations his Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) came under government pressure to rush out figures in the lead-up to a crunch Prime Minister’s Questions.
He admitted the OBR had been naive over its handling of the issue but said: “There was no conspiracy or pressure on us to change the numbers and no pressure on us to bring forward publication.”
Chancellor George Osborne trumpeted the OBR as a sure-fire way to stop politicians meddling in forecasts.
In a further blow to the coalition, Budd and fellow OBR economist Geoffrey Dicks said the 22 June austerity budget had increased the chances that Britain’s fragile economic recovery could run out of steam.
“The near term outlook for GDP is not as good as it was before the Budget,” Dicks said.
JOHN CRYER MP
Leyton and Wanstead
Former journalist from the left-wing of the Labour Party. Was a member of the Socialist Campaign Group.
ANDREA LEADSOM MP
Has had a 25 year career in banking and finance, having been a director at Barclays and run a hedge fund.
STEWART HOSIE MP
SCOTTISH NATIONAL PARTY
SNP chief whip at Westminster. He speaks for the party on finance and treasury matters.
GEORGE MUDIE MP
A former treasurer of HM Household and deputy chief whip, has been on the committee since 2001.
MICHAEL FALLON MP
A former company director, he chairs the treasury sub-committee where he is responsible for overseeing HMRC.
CHUKA UMUNNA MP
A social activist, the former employment law solicitor also sits on the board of charity Generation Next
ANDREW TYRIE MP (CHAIR)
Previously held the positions of shadow financial secretary and shadow paymaster general.
JESSE NORMAN MP
Hereford and South Herefordshire
Worked for more than 20 years in business, in education and for a leading charity.
DAVID RUTLEY MP
A former director at Asda and former adviser to Lord Waldegrave. Studied at LSE and Harvard Business School.
MARK GARNIER MP
A campaigner on law and order issues and the environment, has won consecutive elections in his constituency.
JOHN THURSO MP
Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross
Appointed shadow business secretary in Nick Clegg’s 2008 shadow cabinet restructure.
JOHN MANN MP
Has campaigned for more transparency in consumer credit. Worked for former Olympics minister Tessa Jowell.
ANDREW LOVE MP
The former businessman is also a member of the all party parliamentary groups on small business and housing.