PBR date ‘announced’

Prime Minister Gordon Brown yesterday appeared to tell parliament that the
pre-Budget report for 2007 would take place in October rather than December,
when it is traditionally made.

Answering questions from opposition leader David Cameron on whether NHS cuts
would be frozen during the government’s review of the NHS, Brown said that the
government would report back to the house on the review ‘at the time of the
pre-Budget report in October’.

The Treasury
would neither confirm nor deny whether the PBR would take place in
October. Officials would also not say whether Brown had mistakenly referred to
the PBR rather than the comprehensive spending review.

‘No official date has been set for either the pre-Budget report or the
comprehensive spending review. It was a slip of the tongue,’ a spokeswoman said.

If the pre-Budget report is to be held on an earlier-than-normal October
date, then Brown could well be planning to call a snap election.

Advisers, meanwhile, have expressed concern over the possibility of an early

‘There are so many consultations that we are working on at the moment that
are only due to close in September. If the PBR is in October it could throw out
the timing of all these consultations,’ said Bill Dodwell, head of tax policy at

Further reading:

the transcript of the parliamentary question and answer session

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