UK public borrowing halves in first six months of fiscal year

by | Oct 21, 2021

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UK public borrowing fell by almost half in the first six months of the financial year as it continued to recover from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, according to official data released on Thursday.
Public sector borrowing fell to £108.1bn, down by £101.2bn pounds in April-September 2020 but around three times its level before the pandemic, the Office for National Statistics said.

Government borrowing fell to £21.8bn in September, a drop of around £7bn compared with September 2020, and lower than economists had forecast. It was also sharply lower than the £151.1bn the Office for Budget Responsibility had expected.

Britain’s budget deficit soared last financial year to its highest since World War Two at 15% of GDP but is expected to drop to just over half that this year due to the end of emergency economic support and stronger tax revenues.

Last month Finance Minister Rishi Sunak announced a manifesto-breaking £12bn tax rise on workers and employers, starting next year, to fund health and social care.

Thursday’s data showed public sector net debt totalled £2.22trn, or 95.5% of gross domestic product.

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