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Blow for government as public sector borrowing soars by nearly £2bn in June

Blow for government as public sector borrowing soars by nearly £2bn in June

Agnes Chambre

2 min read

Government borrowing rose by £2 billion last month in a major blow for Philip Hammond.

Figures released by the Office for National Statistics show the Government went a further £6.9bn into the red in June, compared to around £5bn 12 months earlier.

In the financial year to date, overall borrowing went up by £1.9bn to £22.8bn.

Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell said the figures reveal the “continued failure of Philip Hammond and the Conservatives”.

He said: “Seven years of Tory cuts have left our economy weaker with falling wages, yet the deficit has not been eliminated two years after they claimed it would be, and the national debt continues to rise.

“The Chancellor should stop handing out massive tax giveaways to big businesses and the super-rich, and instead give our hard-pressed public sector workers a pay rise; so we can end the travesty in our country of nurses having to rely on food banks.

"Only a Labour government will set out a serious plan for the public finances with strategic investment underpinned by our Fiscal Credibility Rule, to help build the high wage, high skill economy of the future for the many not the few.”

Scott Bowman, UK economist at Capital Economics, said: "June's figures suggest that the public sector finances have started to deteriorate a little. This could limit the scope for an easing in austerity and mean that fiscal policy will still provide a significant drag on GDP growth over the next few years."

A Treasury spokesman said: “Our national debt, at £65,000 for every household, is still too high and leaves us vulnerable to any future shocks.

“That is why we have a credible fiscal plan to get debt falling and deliver the sound public finances needed for a stronger economy and higher living standards.”

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