Government Debt Nearing 100% of GDP mdi-fullscreen

The latest figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show public sector net borrowing hit £21.5 billion in March – £200 million higher than expected, and the second-highest March borrowing figure since records began thirty years ago. Annual borrowing reached £139.2 billion in the year to March, the fourth highest in history. It means government debt is now a whopping £2.53 trillion, or 99.6% of GDP. The highest since the early 1960s…

The sliver of ‘good’ news is the government’s debt interest payments fell to £3.9billion in March, which is a fifth of its peak in June last year. Although with the total debt interest payments for the last financial year reaching £106.6 billion, that’s not much to celebrate. For context, the total Health budget for 2022-23 is £180.2 billion.

Part of the explanation for these figures is the decision to extend the energy support scheme in the Budget, with Chancellor Jeremy Hunt saying:

“…We stepped up to support the British economy in the face of two global shocks, but we cannot borrow forever. We now have a clear plan to get debt falling which will reduce the financial pressure we pass onto our children and grandchildren.”

A reminder that Rishi’s third pledge is to reduce the debt, not increase it…

mdi-tag-outline Borrowing Debt Office for National Statistics
mdi-account-multiple-outline Jeremy Hunt Rishi Sunak
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