AS2012: Government book-keeping change adds £70bn to the deficit

MOVING THE LIABILITIES of Bradford & Bingley and Northern Rock onto the government’s books are among three one-off factors that have affected the government accounts, chancellor George Osborne said during the Autumn Statement.

Addressing parliament, Osborne said the government had decided to bring the failures of Bradford & Bingley and Northern Rock onto the government balance sheet, adding £70bn to the national deficit.

Other one-off factors cited by Osborne were the transfer of the Royal Mail pension scheme to the private sector, which gives the Treasury accounts £28bn this year but adds to the deficit in the future, and the transfer of excess cash from the Bank of England’s asset purchasing scheme to the exchequer.

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