Government borrowing rose to £11.6bn in August
Newly released official figures show government borrowing was higher than economists had expected in August, having risen to £11.6bn last month, according to the ONS.
Borrowing – the difference between spending and tax income – was £3.5bn more than a year earlier and the fourth-highest August borrowing since monthly records began in 1993.
Public borrowing had been predicted to stand at £11.1bn last month. However, it still comes below the £13bn that had been forecast by the government’s finance watchdog, the OBR, back in March.
Governments often borrow to boost the economy. They also borrow to pay for big projects – such as new railways and roads – which they hope will help the economy and create jobs.
There has been speculation that the government could announce new spending pledges in the upcoming Autumn Statement, to address matters such as local councils’ finances and safety concerns around school buildings.
The ONS shows borrowing for the financial year to date has now reached £69.9bn, which is £19.3bn more than in the same five-month period last year.
But this total is £11.4bn lower than the amount predicted by the OBR.