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Britain’s budgetary watchdog is now more indispensable than ever

The OBR has a vital role to play in ensuring fiscal honesty in the years ahead

By Paul Wallace  

Will the OBR help keep chancellors honest? Photo: Chris J Ratcliffe/PA Archive/PA Images

As parliament awaited the Queen’s Speech on Thursday, a more modest event got under way nearby in Westminster. The Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) presented two reports, one on its forecasting record since 2016, the other on recent welfare trends. With pomp and ceremony on display elsewhere, the presentation attracted little attention but the fiscal watchdog will be centre-stage early next year, when Chancellor Sajid Javid presents his first budget. The OBR’s job will be to…

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