Bad news for Brown ahead of speech

Link: Pre Budget Report on 27 November

Figures compiled by the Office of National Statistics revealed that public funds were £2.5bn in surplus last month, down by more than half on the same period last year, and well short of the £4.3bn surplus predicted by analysts.

The ONS said the government faced a net cash shortfall of £5.2bn, compared with a surplus of £5.7bn last year.

Corporate tax receipts were hit by a reduction in the amount of tax paid by big corporations, as lower profits were reported. Monies taken in totalled £7.1bn, 28% down on the same period last year, the statistics revealed.

The chancellor has been under pressure as an increase in public spending combined with a bigger debt mountain has fuelled fears of an increase in taxes.

He will deliver his pre-Budget speech on Wednesday, 27 November to the House of Commons, after prime minister’s questions.

Reminder: will provide extensive coverage of the pre-Budget speech as well as analysis and comment next week.

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