Rishi Sunak’s £43.5bn pre-Budget boost

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Chancellor Rishi Sunak  (PA Wire)
Chancellor Rishi Sunak (PA Wire)

Rishi Sunak got a pre-Budget boost on Thursday as figures showed borrowing is a “whopping” £43.5 billion lower so far this year than expected.

Public sector net borrowing was £21.8 billion in September, compared with the City forecast of £22.6 billion and the Office for Budget Responsibility prediction of £25.9 billion back in March. 

“That means borrowing is now a whopping £43.5 billion lower in the 2021/22 financial year so far than... expected,” said Capital Economics’ chief UK economist Paul Dales.

Borrowing so far this year had expected to be some £152 billion and the fact it is far below is likely to spark fresh calls from Tory MPs for the Chancellor to ditch some of his planned tax hikes, according to the Institute for Fiscal Studies [IFS].

Mr Sunak said: “At the budget and spending review next week I will set out how we will continue to support public services, businesses and jobs while keeping public finances fit for the future.”

But IFS deputy director Carl Emmerson warned: “What matters more is the extent to which any improvement in borrowing persists beyond this year.” 

Government debt now stands at £2.2 trillion at the end of September, the highest ratio since 1963.

London’s petrol station stock levels have fully recovered from the crisis which began last month, figures show.

Watch: 'Our recovery comes with a cost', Chancellor Rishi Sunak tells Tory Party conference

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