Government borrowing at record high, data reveals

26 May

Data published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) has revealed that government borrowing reached a record high of £62 billion in April following heavy spending as a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

The deficit was larger in April than forecast for the whole of 2020 at the time of the Budget. The data showed that the cost of the government's Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) alone was £14 billion in April.

The Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) predicts that borrowing could reach £298 billion this year.

Commenting on the data, Charlie McCurdy, Researcher at think tank the Resolution Foundation, said: 'The latest borrowing figures offer a stark illustration of the fiscal costs of the coronavirus and the lockdown measures required to contain it, with the government borrowing as much last month as it did during the whole of last year.

'But while there is significant pressure on the public finances, there are no signs that the government is struggling to find the cash. Record low interest rates mean the UK's higher debt burden should remain more than manageable.'

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