ICAEW: Government must sort out finances or threaten recovery

EVER-GROWING public debt must be dealt with or threaten the UK’s economic recovery, the ICAEW has warned.

In a letter to chancellor George Osborne, ICAEW chief executive Michael Izza said that further steps must be taken to reduce public sector borrowing, with £1bn a week being spent on interest payments, reports the Telegraph. The overall public sector debt stands at £1.4trn.

“With many departmental budgets the size of FTSE 100 companies, income, expenditure, balance sheet management and cash flow – all need to be tightly managed,” said Izza in the letter.

Michael Izza, chief executive of ICAEW, added: “Now more than ever, the chancellor cannot take his eye off the ball when it comes to our debt and public finances. Tempting as it may be, he must avoid any short-term political land-grabs, and instead focus on practical measures that will help secure our economic recovery.”

The situation does not allow the chancellor to be radical in tax giveaways during the Autumn Statement, Izza added.

The ICAEW has previously called on the government to introduce a cabinet-level civil servant to act as ‘CFO’, to help improve public sector financial management.

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