UK finance minister to investigate changing fiscal rules

LONDON, March 10 (Reuters) – British finance minister Rishi Sunak said he would consider changing the fiscal framework used by the government, speaking in his first annual budget on Wednesday as he ramped up spending.

“It is important that we update our fiscal framework to remain at the leading edge of international best practice,” Sunak said.

“I will review the fiscal framework consulting widely with a range of experts and will report back in the autumn, if I conclude that any changes are necessary.”

Last year, Sunak’s predecessor as finance minister Sajid Javid announced a set of budget rules which said day-to-day, or current, spending had to be fully covered by tax revenue within three years and that public investment could rise to an average 3% of GDP.

Javid said those rules would be reviewed if debt interest costs exceeded 6% of tax revenue, triple their current level.

Sunak also said the current framework gave him some flexibility to react in coming years.

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