Public sector borrowing drops

Public sector borrowing, excluding public sector banks, closed 2015 £4.3 billion lower than in December 2014.

In the current financial year to date (April 2015 to December 2015), public sector net borrowing was £11 billion compared with the same period in 2014, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

Public sector net debt at the end of December 2015 was £1,542.6 billion, equivalent to 81% of GDP.

David Kern, chief economist at the British Chambers of Commerce, said:

“After November’s setback, the marked improvement in December makes it likely that public finances will show an overall improvement in the current financial year.

“There is still no room for complacency, and the task ahead remains huge. The weaker financial sector and depleted oil and gas output mean that the UK’s ability to generate tax receipts has experienced a long-term decline, and we must adjust our public spending plans to this reality and do more to boost our tax base.”

Ross Campbell, ICAEW director for public sector policy, commented:

“While public sector borrowing looks in better shape than where we were last year, there are still questions about whether the government can achieve a surplus of £10.1 billion in 2019-20.

“Getting the best outcomes for the public finances in challenging times means being supported by modern financial management. “

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