UK public sector borrowing rose more than expected in February, driven by the cost of the government’s energy support schemes.
Public sector net borrowing was £16.7bn last month, the Office for National Statistics said on Tuesday. That was £9.7bn more than in February 2022 and higher than the £11.4bn forecast by economists polled by Reuters.
It was also the highest February borrowing since monthly records began in 1993, largely because of substantial spending on energy support initiatives.
Between April 2022 and February 2023, the public sector borrowed £132.2bn. That leaves borrowing on course to be broadly in line with the £152.4bn forecast by the Office for Budget Responsibility for the full financial year.
Chancellor Jeremy Hunt said: “Borrowing is still high because we’re determined to support households and businesses with rising prices and are spending about £1,500 per household to pay just under half of people’s energy bills this winter.”
Source: Financial Times