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Tuesday 24th of November 2009
July 21, 2009    

Public sector borrowing soars by £13bn in June

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by Kay Murchie

Figures released today by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) have revealed that UK public sector borrowing soared by £13 billion in June, up from £7.5 billion a year ago.

This takes the nation’s net debt to £798.8 billion - an increase of £157 billion compared with a year earlier.

While the figure was lower then expected, it represents the highest proportion of UK output since records started - equivalent of 56.6% of UK Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

In May, credit rating agency, Standard and Poor’s, said the UK’s debt burden may reach 100% of GDP.

In April’s budget, Chancellor Alistair Darling predicted that borrowing would hit £175 billion in this financial year.

Commenting on the figures, Philip Shaw, chief economist at Investec, said: “The figures are modestly better than expected. It doesn’t take away from the fact that the state of public finances is dire and that a considerable degree of fiscal tightening will be required.”

In related news, the National Audit Office revealed that the Government’s tax take slumped by £32 billion last year.

Revenue from income tax, national insurance, VAT, stamp duty, corporation tax and other levies fell by £21.7 billion due to the downturn.

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