This morning UK fin min George Osborne has confirmed that he will add a further GBP 2bln to support the National Health Service (NHS) taking much of it from recent fines on UK banks, but he’s still borrowing more this year than last

Osborne’s pledge – which will be announced in his Autumn Statement on Wednesday – comes after NHS bosses warned of a need for extra funds to keep the NHS going and maintain standards of care.They said £2bn extra was needed to cope with the immediate, unprecedented pressure on NHS budgets.

But Osborne will have to concede this week that the government will borrow more this year than the OBR forecast in March. Big giveaways on Wednesday are unlikely because borrowing this year is unlikely to remain in line with the fiscal watchdog’s current forecasts.

The OBR expects the Government to borrow £86.6bn this fiscal year, but has said that a “number of factors” including weak wage growth, Britain’s cooling property market and falling oil prices have depressed tax receipts

UK govt borrowing

UK govt borrowing 2013-14-15

Osborne told BBC One’s Andrew Marr Show:

“Because we have a strong economy and we’ve got the public finances under control, we can afford to put £2 billion into the frontline of the NHS across the United Kingdom.

I can tell you we can go further and use those fines that have been paid by the banks for a permanent improvement in GP services.

This is a down-payment on the NHS’s own long-term plan and it shows you can have a strong NHS if you have a strong economy.

The UK’s Autumn Statement is being delivered this Wednesday 3 Dec at 12.30pm to provide updates on the government’s economic plans, which are likely to include spending allocations, reforms and some taxation policies.It’s the second in the two most important economic statements of the year after the Budget in spring.

Soon after the Autumn Statement, which now happens in December rather than November like it did in the 80s and 90s, the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) publishes its estimates and forecasts and is expected to revise up its UK growth forecast to 3% in 2014, from a March projection of 2.7%.

This would match the expansion in 2006 and cement Britain’s status as the fastest growing economy in the G7 this year. The OBR is expected to forecast growth of 2.6% in 2015, from a March forecast of 2.3%, while growth in 2016 is forecast to remain unchanged at 2.6%

The Independent has more here and a guide to all the ins and outs of the Autumn Statement here

Osborne- still spending and cutting but not the deficit

Osborne – still spending and cutting, but not the deficit