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Public sector borrowing comes in below forecasts at £21.8bn in September

Wriggle room for Rishi? Sunak gets pre-Budget relief as public sector borrowing comes in below forecasts at £21.8bn in September – but UK debt mountain creeps up to £2.22TRILLION

  • Public sector borrowing was £21.8billion last month below official forecasts
  • The UK debt mountain has reached £2.22trillion as impact of Covid continues
  • Chancellor Rishi Sunak will attempt to stabilise finances in Budget next week  


Rishi Sunak was handed some pre-Budget relief today as borrowing figures came in below expectations at £21.8billion last month.

The government borrowed another £21.8billion – the second highest on record for September but below official forecasts and down from £28.8billion last year.

However, the Chancellor underlined the need to get the public finances ‘fit for the future’ after Covid as the debt mountain continued to swell, hitting £2.22trillion. 

That is equivalent to 95.5 per cent of GDP, maintaining levels not seen since the early 1960s. 

The government borrowed another £21.8billion – the second highest on record for September but below official forecasts and down from £28.8billion last year

There are fears that spiking inflation could drive up the cost of servicing the massive liabilities and cause more turmoil in the government’s books. 

Public borrowing so far this financial year has reached £108.1billion – £101.2 billion less than the same period a year ago.

But the Office for Budget Responsibility had forecast that the cumulative figure would be at more than £150billion by this point.

Although the economic recovery has been strong this year, there have been worrying signs that it has stalled recently amid supply chain chaos.  

Mr Sunak said: ‘Our recovery is well underway – with more employees on payrolls than ever before and the fastest forecast growth in the G7 this year – but the pandemic has had a huge impact on our economy and caused our debt levels to rise.

‘At the Budget and Spending Review next week I will set out how we will continue to support public services, businesses and jobs while keeping our public finances fit for the future.’

Rishi Sunak underlined the need to get the public finances 'fit for the future' after Covid as the debt mountain continued to swell, hitting £2.22trillion

Rishi Sunak underlined the need to get the public finances ‘fit for the future’ after Covid as the debt mountain continued to swell, hitting £2.22trillion

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