The UK government’s ability to manage the economy effectively was thrown into fresh doubt this week, when it was revealed that it borrowed £18,000 million (£18 billion) more over the last year than it anticipated.
It was planned to borrow ‘only’ £23.6 billion but borrowed £41.3 million instead. Re-calculations of public sector pensions, unpaid student loans and corporation tax along with a miscounting of tax credits - the latter by £2.6 billion – was the reason.
At the end of the financial year ending March 2019, UK general government gross debt was £1,821.3 billion, equivalent to 85.2% of UK income. It continues to rise.
Commenting, Patricia Gibson MP said:
“Failure to anticipate its own borrowing requirements has left this shambolic Tory Government in real difficulties as both Brexit and a likely election approach.
“Chancellor Sajid Javid MP was hoping to bribe voters with a pre-election spending spree and tax cuts but he has to stick within borrowing rules, making that increasingly difficult. The Office for Budget Responsibility has confirmed that the deficit is ‘looking significantly worse’ in the years ahead, just as we approach Brexit.
“Not only is this UK Tory Government making a hash of securing a deal on Brexit which minimises economic dislocation, it is showing itself as struggling to control the public finances.
“Such incompetence does not augur well, with the result likely to be more austerity and a squeeze on spending, just at a time the economy needs a boost to get us through the turmoil of a no deal Brexit.”