09:14 GMT +314 November 2019
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    UK Government Blocks Release of Public Borrowing Forecast Amid Looming Election

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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The United Kingdom’s Cabinet Office has blocked the publication of a forecast by the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR), which was reportedly due to show a drop in public finances, citing its general election guidance.

    "We had planned to publish a technical restatement of our March public finance forecast this morning, bringing it into line with current ONS [Office for National Statistics] statistical treatment – for example, the new treatment of student loans implemented in September – but not incorporating any new forecast judgements regarding the economy, the public finances or the impact of Brexit. This will no longer go ahead as the Cabinet Secretary has concluded that this would not be consistent with the Cabinet Office’s General Election Guidance," the OBR said on its website on Thursday.

    The student loans reportedly added 12.4 billion pounds ($16 billion) to the borrowing figures.

    According to The Guardian, the decision to block the forecast came two days after Cabinet Secretary Mark Sedwill scrapped the impact assessment of the Labour Party’s election pledges, referring to the same guidance and triggering a backlash from some of the Conservatives. The UK is set to hold a snap general election on 12 December.

    forecast, budget, UK
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