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UK government borrowing soared to a record high in the first six months of the financial year as the extra spending needed to tackle the Covid-19 pandemic pushed the public deficit further into the red.
Steep falls in tax receipts that accompanied the government’s rescue programmes also increased the UK’s debt to GDP ratio to its highest level in 50 years, while inflation rose to 0.5%, according to the latest official figures.
With the second wave of the virus expected to further undermine the public finances, the Office for National Statistics said the government spent more cash than in any September since the 2008 financial crash. It added that the increase in cash spent by departments and devolved governments pushed the total since April to £246bn, nearly three times the highest first-half figure since comparable records began in 1984.
The outflow of funds increased the UK’s overall debt pile to 103.5% of annual national income, the highest debt-to-GDP ratio since 1960.
Rishi Sunak, responding to the figures, said: “Things would have been far worse had we not acted in the way we did to protect millions of livelihoods.”
Source: The Guardian
Keyword: UK government borrowing soars to record high during Covid pandemic | Business