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Government borrowing in December £1.9bn more than anticipated

THE amount of money the government borrowed last month was £1.9 billion more than economists expected, it was revealed yesterday.

Public-sector net borrowing, excluding state-owned banks, rose by £300 million in December to £3bn, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

In December 2017 net borrowing was at £2.7bn and the government received a £1.2bn rebate from the European Union.

Last month, Britain’s net contribution to the EU was £1.5bn higher than in December 2017, resulting in a £300m net contribution. 

The ONS said government borrowing was higher last month after it received less money from the EU and in tax.

It also revealed that tax receipts in December increased by 4.3 per cent to £59.8bn while government expenditure grew 5.3 per cent to £61.2bn. 

The Tory government has broken its promises to reduce borrowing while its shambolic handling over Brexit causes more uncertainty, Labour’s shadow chief secretary to the Treasury Peter Dowd said.

“Four years after the Conservatives claimed austerity would have closed the deficit, they are still borrowing more than expected,” he said.

“It’s time for a Labour government to invest for the future and rebuild our economy so that it works for the many, not the few.”

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