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TOP NEWS: UK government borrowing reaches second-highest October level

21st Nov 2023 08:17

(Alliance News) - UK public sector borrowing continued at record levels in October, as the government's debt piled mounted further, according to data from the Office for National Statistics on Tuesday.

Public sector net borrowing, excluding public sector banks, reached GBP14.9 billion. This was 42% higher than the GBP10.5 billion in October 2022. It marks the second-highest level for October since records began in 1993, behind only the October of 2020 during the Covid pandemic.

In the UK fiscal year to date, borrowing stands at GBP98.3 billion, which is GBP21.9 billion higher than the same period of the prior year. However, it is GBP16.9 billion less than the Office for Budget Responsibility's March forecast of GBP115.2 billion.

Central government borrowing rose by GBP11.2 billion annually to GBP22.7 billion, which was ahead of OBR forecasts of GBP4.1 billion. The central government saw GBP76.9 billion in receipts, which was up from GBP75.4 billion a year prior. However, it spent GBP99.6 billion, which was up by nearly GBP14 billion from the prior year, and higher than OBR forecasts of GBP94.1 billion.

At GBP2.644 trillion at the end of the month, the UK government's total debt is estimated to be around 97.8% of the country's annual gross domestic product - remaining at the highest levels seen since the early 1960s.

By Elizabeth Winter, Alliance News deputy news editor

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