Government breaks ANOTHER borrowing record in February

Rishi Sunak vows to balance the books as Government breaks ANOTHER borrowing record with £19.1billion racked up in February and UK’s national debt hitting £2.13TRILLION

  • Borrowing was £19.1billion in February the highest on record for the month
  • Rishi Sunak insisted he will return public finances to a more sustainable path 
  • The UK’s debt mountain has hit £2.13trillion as it soars during the pandemic 

Rishi Sunak renewed his vow to balance the books today as the government broke another borrowing record.

The £19.1billion figure for last month was the highest February figure since comparable records began in 1993. 

It means that net debt has risen by £333billion since coronavirus chaos kicked in last April, with the UK’s debt mountain reaching £2.131trillion – equivalent to 97.5 per cent of GDP.

Responding to the ONS figures, the Chancellor said: ‘Coronavirus has caused one of the largest economic shocks this country has ever faced, which is why we responded with our £352billion package of support to protect lives and livelihoods.

‘This was the fiscally responsible thing to do and the best way to support the public finances in the medium-term.

The £19.1billion figure for last month was the highest February figure since comparable records began in 1993

It means that net debt has risen by £333 billion since coronavirus chaos kicked in last April, with the UK’s debt mountain reaching £2.131trillion – equivalent to 97.5 per cent of GDP

‘But I have always said that we should look to return the public finances to a more sustainable path once the economy has recovered and at the Budget I set out how we will begin to do just that, providing families and businesses with certainty.’

Yesterday a respected think-tank warned that Britons faces more tax hikes due to a £4billion black hole in Mr Sunak’s Budget spending plans.

The Institute for Fiscal Studies said the shortfall for the 2022−23 financial year went ‘entirely unmentioned’ in the Chancellor’s speech to the Commons on March 3.

If the spending plan is followed this would lead to billions of pounds being slashed from the budgets of departments including the Home Office, the court system and local government – which could jeopardise the government’s ‘levelling-up’ agenda.

Rather than go ahead with another period of ‘austerity’ – which Boris Johnson has already ruled out – it is more likely that tax rises and borrowing would increase instead to make up the shortfall, the IFS said.

The UK’s tax burden is already set to hit the highest level since the 1960s as Mr Sunak raises billions by dragging more people into higher income tax rates and increasing rates for businesses.

The Institute for Fiscal Studies said the shortfall for the 2022−23 financial year went ‘entirely unmentioned’ in the Chancellor’s speech to the Commons on March 3 

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