Figures released yesterday by the Office of National Statistics (ONS) show the public coffers are showing the biggest surplus since records began in 1993. The surplus currently stands at 17 billion on the current budget largely as a result of corporation tax payments and income.
Corporation tax payments for January were 22% higher than last year, while income tax receipts were boosted by 14% for the same period. At the same time, the rate of public borrowing (currently 35.9% of GDP) was 3 billion less than expected.
John Hawksworth, head of macroeconomics at PricewaterhouseCoopers, said the figures had arrived like the US cavalry in a 1950s western.
Todays public finances arrived in the nick of time to get the chancellor out of a tight spot on his borrowing forecasts ahead of the Budget, Hawk...