Osborne's OBR 'needs to sort out' forecasts

George Osborne set up the OBR shortly after the general election in May.
George Osborne set up the OBR shortly after the general election in May.

By politics.co.uk staff

The Office of Budget Responsibility (OBR) 'needs to sort out' its forecasts, the chair of the Treasury select committee has said.

The committee published a report into last month's Budget, which included examining the role of the OBR.

The report found that the OBR's forecasts were done two weeks before the Budget, which did not allow for enough flexibility in incorporating economic fluctuations or last-minute political decisions that could affect the accuracy of the forecast.

Conservative MP Andrew Tyrie described the decision to prepare the forecast two weeks before the Budget as an "arbitrarily tight timetable".

"It would be concerning if the construction of Budgets was prejudiced by an arbitrarily tight timetable," he said.

"The OBR and the Treasury need to sort this out."

Chancellor George Osborne established the OBR shortly after the general election, giving it the mandate to create an independent assessment of the economy before each Budget.

The chancellor adopted the OBR's predictions in this year's Budget, where it downgraded its previous growth forecasts to 1.7% this year from 2.1%.

The committee also questioned the OBR's cautious approach to asset sales and asked for a full review of the OBR's responsibilities.


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