Government borrowing at 2-year high

21 Sep 18

Borrowing in August was the highest it has been for two years, according to official figures.

However, across the year to date borrowing is at a 16-year low, the latest public finances bulletin from the Office for National Statistics, published today, showed.

The ONS revealed the government borrowed £6.8bn in August, which was £2.4bn more than in August 2017 and the largest August borrowing for two years.

Borrowing in the financial year to date was £17.8bn, which was £7.8bn less than at the same point in the last financial year. It is also the lowest borrowing in the year to date since 2002.

Public sector net debt, excluding public sector banks, was £1,781.9bn, equivalent to 84.3% of gross domestic product. This was £15.9bn more than in August 2017, although in GDP terms debt had fallen 1.8 percentage points.

In a tweet, the Treasury said: “We need to keep up the work to get debt falling as gross debt interest costs more than the police and armed forces combined.”

The chancellor Philip Hammond also warned against complacency in a tweet: 


  • Vivienne Russell

    Vivienne Russell is managing editor of Public Finance magazine and

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