New figures from the Treasury showing a bigger-than-expected budget deficit this year and next could turn out to be a lot worse than feared if the turmoil in financial markets lasts, the Institute for Fiscal Studies said yesterday, The Guardian reports.
The respected thinktank also criticised Alistair Darling's decision to add £2bn to investment spending in Tuesday's pre-budget report, something it described as an "unfunded spending increase".
IFS director Robert Chote said that Mr Darling's most immediate problem was that the credit crunch and a weaker outlook for wage growth were expected to lose him £4bn in income tax revenue and £3bn in corporation tax revenue next year alone.
He said that, in all, the fiscal position is due to deteriorate by about £13bn over the next three years, which will again delay the long-awaited time when the current budget balance returns to the black.
HOUSE PRICES IN the UK have fallen for the second consecutive month and the number of those seeking to buy has dropped for the tenth month in a row, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) said today, The Times reports.
RICS said that 14.6% more surveyors reported a drop in house prices last month than those reporting a rise.
It is the biggest difference for two years. In September 2005, 19.4% more surveyors reported seeing a drop in the price of property than those who saw a rise.
In August this year, the figure was only 3.3%.
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