Commenting on the November public finance figures published today by the ONS, David Kern, Chief Economist at the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), said: 

“Although the November deficit was slightly smaller than expected, this cannot obscure the severity of the problem facing Britain’s public finances.  On the basis of present trends, the outcome for the financial year as a whole will still mean a deficit totalling around £175bn. 

“The current situation poses serious threats to Britain’s international credit rating, particularly if the Government does not reinforce the inadequate measures announced in the Pre-Budget Report.   

“While it is difficult to implement large spending cuts until the recession is over, the Government must be more explicit in its plans.  An immediate freeze to the public sector wage bill would enhance credibility, persuade markets that the Government is prepared to reduce the public sector, and enable business to drive recovery.”