Public debt hits all-time high

21 Jul 09
Public sector debt hit a record high of 56.5% of gross domestic product at the end of June, figures from the Office for National Statistics have revealed
By Tash Shifrin

21 July 2009

Public sector debt hit a record high of 56.5% of gross domestic product at the end of June, figures from the Office for National Statistics have revealed.

Although the figures were not as gloomy as some analysts had predicted, the net debt of £798.8bn at the end of June is the highest as a proportion of GDP since records began in 1974.

Falling tax income has increased the hole in the Treasury coffers, the ONS figures, published on July 21, showed. Tax and other Treasury receipts fell by £11bn in the first quarter of the financial year compared with the same period last year.

Over the same period, public sector borrowing hit £41.2bn, nearly double the £21.6bn in the first quarter of 2008/09. Borrowing for June was £13bn, up from £7.5bn in the same month last year.

Figures for public sector net debt, excluding the impact of the government’s interventions in the banking sector, was £657.5bn or 46.6% of GDP.

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