Belfast Telegraph

Extra £19bn of austerity cuts needed

By Holly Williams

The UK's ageing population and strained healthcare system means an extra £19bn of spending cuts or tax hikes are needed to combat an "unsustainable" pressure on the nation's public finances, the official forecaster warned.

The Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) said the Government would need to find the additional savings in the year to April 2019 on top of the current £153bn in austerity measures to get debt down to 40% of economic output.

Robert Chote, chairman of the OBR, said on presenting the report: "Since last year, the underlying deficit and debt path look less favourable."

He added that the extra £19bn needed to get borrowing back on track could be spread over the next 50 years rather than action taken in one go.

Belfast Telegraph