Covid costs could wipe out Sunak’s spending plans, says IFS

Thinktank warns chancellor will have to cut budgets, increase taxes or borrow more

A prolonged battle against Covid-19 would swallow up a large chunk of the government’s planned increase in public spending and force the chancellor into an unenviable choice between fresh austerity, higher taxes or more borrowing, a leading thinktank has warned.

The Institute for Fiscal Studies said that even if only a quarter of the extra £70bn allocated by Rishi Sunak to fight the pandemic had to be repeated in future years, the Treasury would either have to find more money than set aside in this year’s budget or announce cuts.

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