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Public sector borrowing falls £7.5bn

The overall government borrowing figure for the 2013-14 financial year was £107.7bn, down £7.5bn on the previous year.

ITV News Deputy Political Editor Chris Ship has details of the latest public sector borrowing figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

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IFS: Borrowing could 'overshoot forecasts'

While today's figures suggest tax receipts came in relatively strongly in December, the growth in receipts over the year to date has still been disappointing relative to the Office for Budget Responsibility's forecast for the year as a whole.

This reflects, in particular, weak growth in receipts of income tax, capital gains tax and national insurance contributions so far this year.

In addition, central Government current spending has also grown slightly more quickly so far than was forecast for the whole year, largely due to spending on the administration and delivery of public services.

If these trends were to continue for the remaining three months of the financial year then borrowing this year could slightly overshoot the OBR's forecast, by around £3 billion.

– Institute for Fiscal Studies

Labour: Government's policies have 'badly backfired'

David Cameron and George Osborne's economic plan is hurting, but it's not working. Their failure on jobs and growth means they are now failing on the one test they set themselves - to get the deficit and debt down.

Borrowing is rising and is over £7 billion higher than at the same point last year.

And this is borrowing to pay for economic failure as a flatlining economy and rising long-term unemployment have sent the welfare bill soaring and tax revenues have been revised down.

By squeezing families and businesses too hard, choking off the recovery and so pushing borrowing up not down, the government's economic policies have badly backfired.

– Rachel Reeves, Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury

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Borrowing figures could 'threaten UK credit rating'

The question is how long the UK can hold on to its AAA status. With the US and France having been downgraded by one ratings agency in the past couple of years, another disappointing UK borrowing number and a widely expected contraction in GDP on Friday will intensify the threat of the UK suffering the same fate

– Economist, James Knightley
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