Government borrowing in May hits highest since Covid

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Government borrowing in May hit the highest since the Covid crisis but was lower than the UK’s fiscal watchdog had forecast.

Borrowing reached £15bn last month, which was £800m higher than May last year.

It means that the public sector spent more than it received in taxes and other income, leading the government to borrow billions of pounds.

It is the third highest figure for May since records began in 1993, surpassed only by the pandemic years.

However, borrowing was £600m less than the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) had expected.

With the general election fast approaching, whichever party wins will face similar challenges on tax, spending and debt, economists have warned.

“Government borrowing holds steady but the fiscal Pandora’s box awaits for the next chancellor”, said Michal Stelmach, senior economist at KPMG UK.

“Interest rates are set to remain higher, debt more difficult to bring down, and spending pressures continue to mount.”



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