PwC comments on February's public-sector borrowing data

19/03/21

Jonathan Gillham, PwC Chief Economist comments on today's ONS data:

“Public sector net debt has now hit 97.5% of GDP - a level we have not seen since the 1960s. The government has borrowed an extra £5,000 per working age adult in the UK since February 2020. However, these numbers are set to rise. The OBR is suggesting that the £278.8bn borrowed so far by the UK government could reach £354.6 billion by the end of March.

“Borrowing is still cheap and the Chancellor showed his ability to be nimble and keep things simple in the March Budget by signalling his intention to balance the deficit over the next five years. This will hopefully provide some resilience to any future economic shocks.

“There have been significant drops in revenues from VAT, business rates, stamp duty and fuel duty whilst alcohol and wealth taxes have risen. These increases are small, however, and overall tax receipts are down by £35bn in the current financial year.”

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