Britain has racked up another month of record-breaking borrowing, as the cost of the Covid-19 pandemic continues to mount.
The latest public finances, just released, show that the UK borrowed £22.3bn in October to balance the books, around £10.8bn more than a year ago.
That’s the highest October borrowing figure on record, and the sixth-highest borrowing in any month since monthly records began in 1993 (beaten only by April, May, June, August and September this year).
The Office for National Statistics report that tax receipts fell last month, while the pandemic continued to push up government spending:
- Central government tax receipts are estimated to have been £39.7 billion in October 2020 (on a national accounts basis), £2.7 billion less than in October 2019, with falls in Value Added Tax (VAT), Business Rates and Pay As You Earn (PAYE) income tax.
- Central government bodies are estimated to have spent £71.3 billion on day-to-day activities (current expenditure) in October 2020, £6.4 billion more than in October 2019; this growth includes £1.3 billion in Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) and £0.3 billion in Self Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) payments.