UK public sector borrowing expected to increase to nearly £50bn

21 Dec 17

The UK’s public sector borrowing is forecast to increase to £49.9bn during the current financial year, ending in March 2018, according to official figures. 

This would be an increase of £4.4bn on the outturn net borrowing in the financial year ending March 2017, the Office for National Statistics stated. 

This comes as the ONS announced that government borrowing is at the lowest year-to-date net borrowing since 2007. 

It has decreased by £3.1bn to £48.1bn in the current financial year-to-date, compared to the same period of April to November last year.

But the Treasury said the national debt is still too high at £1.7trn and borrowing needs to be reduced further.

The Treasury said in a statement: “This is the best year-to-date borrowing in a decade, but there is still further to go to repair the public finances.

“We continue to build an economy fit for the future by taking a balanced approach, getting debt falling while investing in our vital public services and keeping taxes low.”

The National Audit Office warned last month that government borrowing had increased by 61% since 2009-10 and the size of debt posed a significant risk to the public finances.

The public sector net borrowing last month was £8.7bn, £0.2bn lower than the same time last year, ONS figures showed.

The ONS said central government net cash requirements decreased by £30.6bn to £30.7bn in the financial year compared to 2016 – also the lowest central cash requirement since 2007.

The figures showed the debt was £1,574.5bn at the end of November 2017, equivalent to 76.7% of GDP, a decrease of £23.5bn on November last year.

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