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MNI DATA IMPACT: UK Govt Spending Surge Offsets Jan Tax Take>

By Les Commons and Laurie Laird
     LONDON (MNI) - A robust increase in self-assessment tax receipts 
boosted Treasury coffers into surplus in January, although a government 
spending spree and falling corporate tax receipts continue to strain 
fiscal finances. 
     The following are the key points from public sector finance data 
published by the Office for National Statistics Friday.
     - The Treasury received a payment of GBP9.813 billion in January, 
courtesy of a 9.8% surge in self-assessment tax receipts to the highest 
level on record. However, the increase in self-assessment receipts was 
lower than the 15.8% gain recorded in January 2019. 
     - Overall, the surplus fell to GBP9.813 billion in January, below 
the GBP11.939 billion recorded a year earlier, as the government 
extended its spending splurge.
     - Fiscal spending on staff and services jumped by 6.5% to GBP2.4 
billion, the highest January on record. Over the year to date, spending 
on staff and services increase by 5.3% to GBP19.5 billion, also the 
highest on record. 
     - Borrowing was back below the Office of Budget Responsibilities 
full year forecast of GBP47.6 billion, with the current YTD total at 
GBP44.8 billion. There are, however, two more months of data left for 
the full year comparison. The OBR could also amend its target when it 
releases its updated forecasts alongside the March 11 budget.
     - Central government net cash requirement in January stood at 
GBP37.7 billion excluding asset resolution and Network rail, 
year-to-date, which was GBP21.2 billion higher that the same period of 
the last fiscal year.
     - Corporate tax receipts continue to disappoint, declining by 6.4% 
from January 2019, the biggest fall in any calendar month since May 
2018. Over the financial year to date, corporate tax receipts have 
declined by 3.2%, the biggest fall since the 2012/13 fiscal year. With 
business investment sluggish, corporate tax receipts are unlikely to 
rebound over the near term.       
-London bureau: 44 (0) 203 865 3812; email:

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