Commenting on the public finance figures for December 2010 David Kern, Chief Economist at the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), said: 

“These figures involve many adjustments related to the incorporation of the RBS and Lloyds banking figures into the public sector finances. But our first assessment of the underlying trends indicates an improvement and suggests that the government’s forecast is on course. Nevertheless, the figures still confirm that Britain’s deficit is unacceptably high.   

“In spite of the disappointing GDP figures, the government must persevere with a credible strategy aimed at stabilising our public finances. British business supports the need for tough deficit-cutting measures over the next few years and supports the government’s focus on spending cuts rather than tax rises. However, this policy will only succeed if the austerity measures are supplemented by policies that enable businesses to deliver growth. The MPC must also play its part in supporting the recovery by maintaining very low interest rates for an extended period.”