The government’s borrowing has soared to a 50-year high, new figures out today showed.
The latest figures for the public finances in November showed the public sector net borrowing hit £31.6bn, £26bn more than in November 2019, which the ONS said is both the highest November borrowing and the third-highest borrowing in any month since monthly records began in 1993.
Measures introduced by the government to cut VAT for hospitality firms and forgive business rates payments played a large role in the £3.8bn drop in tax receipts.
The level of borrowing in the current financial year climbed to £241bn, up £188.6bn on the same period last year, pushing the annual deficit to 11.2% of GDP and the figure for general government gross debt to 102.8% of GDP at the end of November.
Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, said: “As part of our Plan for Jobs we’ve invested £280bn to protect millions of jobs and businesses across the UK.
“This is the right thing to do to protect lives and livelihoods during this acute phase of the crisis. When our economy recovers, it’s right that we take the necessary steps to put the public finances on a more sustainable footing so we are able to respond to future crises in the way we have done this year.”