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George Osborne has decided to use the surpluses being built up under the Bank of England’s money-printing operations as government revenue, making it easier for him to say he is meeting his rules on the public finances.
In a move reminiscent of Gordon Brown’s repeated fudges of his fiscal rules as they came close to being broken, the Treasury will drip-feed accumulated surpluses from the BoE’s quantitative easing programme into the exchequer, initially flattering 2012-13 borrowing figures by £11bn or 0.7 per cent of national income.
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