UK Public Borrowing Lower Than Expected

The month of October saw the UK’s new borrowing fall to £6.5 billion, down from £7.7 billion the year before.

The borrowing was lower than expected as growth in tax revenue was greater than spending, with most economists having predicted the figure would be £6.8 billion.

Total borrowing since April has been £68.3 billion which is in sight of the government’s borrowing target for the financial year of £122 billion.

Chief UK economist for Societe Generale said: “I think the numbers are a little reassuring, but the fundamental problem of the slowdown in growth remains.”

The Treasury claimed the figures showed that the UK was making positive progress in cutting the deficit.

A Treasury spokesman said: “These figures demonstrate the government’s progress in cutting the deficit so far this year, with borrowing now over £10bn lower in the year to October than in the same period last year,” a Treasury spokesman said.
“The difficult decisions which have delivered this reduction in borrowing have made the UK a relative safe haven in the sovereign debt storm, but we are not immune to the turbulence in the eurozone and its impact on British businesses.”

Next week the Chancellor George Osborne is expected to announce a package of measures to help growth in the economy.

Ricky Steedman