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  1. ITV Report

Brexit: Do the government's figures add up?

Video report by ITV News' National Editor Allegra Stratton:

George Osborne has warned a Brexit would deliver a "profound, economic shock" resulting in thousands of job losses and potentially plunging the UK back into recession.

But do the Treasury figures add up?

ITV News spoke to former Cabinet Office chief economist Jonathan Portes to get his expert opinion.

  • Housing
Credit: PA

The Treasury has predicted a 10 to 18 per cent fall in house prices if the UK left the EU.

But Mr Portes believes this figure might be misleading because house prices are rising.

He told ITV News: "The fall in house prices is relative to a significant increase of 10 per cent.

"So even in the worst case scenario house prices would fall by eight per cent, and many people might think that, that would not be the end of the world".

  • Unemployment
Credit: PA

Mr Portes said the figure of unemployment rising between 520,000 to 820,000 is "being very pessimistic".

He added: "Given how well the UK labour market performed during the last very severe recession, that seems to be rather on the high side".

  • Earnings
Credit: PA

The Treasury report stated that average real wages will fall between 2.8 per cent to four per cent if Britain leaves the EU.

Mr Portes said: "The hit to earnings mostly comes because inflation goes up, which in turn comes because the pound would fall.

"So it really depends whether you take their estimate of a very large fall in the pound, feeding through into higher inflation in the UK, seriously.

"If that were the case then earnings probably would fall... but any number here has to be regarded as being highly uncertain".

Treasury officials outlined the expected shock of 'Brexit' in the UK economy. Credit: Treasury

Mr Portes explained that some aspects of the Treasury's analysis of Brexit were "plausible" but also "highly speculative".

This is because it was mainly based on the unpredictable uncertainty arising from a vote to leave.

He added it was "highly uncertain" to put figures on the potential affect on the housing market, unemployment and earnings when the event hasn't taken place yet.

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