There is a ‘genuine chance’ austerity will end at the Spending Review, according to upbeat director of the Institute for Fiscal Studies, Paul Johnson.
Mr Johnson told The MJ's Future Forum that public finances look ‘pretty good’.
But he emphasised that relative to forecasts before the Brexit referendum in Spring 2016 they ‘don’t look so good’ – with the economy between 2% and 2.5% smaller than if the vote had not taken place.
The Government may have an extra £15bn available, and ‘if the chancellor was to spend that it would be a genuine turnaround in austerity,’ said Mr Johnson.
He added: ‘The good news is that if the chancellor does come up with £15bn a year there will be a 2.5% increase - even for unprotected departments.’