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Labour’s Shadow Treasury minister, Chris Leslie, responding to today’s public sector finance figures, said:
If the Chancellor George Osborne sticks to the current target on national debt he may have to announce tax rises and further spending cuts to achieve it. But the Governor of the Bank of England has indicated he would not complain if the target was missed.
The Treasury has tweeted the following comments from Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury, David Gauke, after the latest public sector net borrowing figures were published.
The stubborn figures on borrowing may heighten expectations that the Chancellor will abandon his deadline to start lowering UK debt within three years.
George Osborne is expected to announce in his autumn statement that the Government will be unable to start bringing down debt as a percentage of GDP in 2015/16.
The chances of the Chancellor dropping his target appeared to increase after Bank of England Governor Sir Mervyn King effectively endorsed such a move.
Public sector net borrowing was unchanged in August at £14.4 billion, according to the Office for National Statistics.
Latest ITV News reports
Falling tax receipts and rising benefit payments have pushed the Government's borrowing up to record levels.