UK public sector borrowing more than doubled in December, pushed up by larger debt curiosity funds and the federal government’s measures to assist households and companies with hovering vitality costs.
Public sector web borrowing hit £27.4bn final month, up from a revised £10.7bn in the identical month in 2021 and the very best December borrowing since month-to-month data started in 1993, in line with information revealed by the Office for National Statistics on Tuesday.
The determine was a lot larger than the £17.7bn forecast by economists polled by Reuters and nicely above the £17.6bn forecast in November by the Office for Budget Responsibility, the UK fiscal watchdog.
Public borrowing rose “largely because of a sharp rise in spending on energy support schemes and an increase in debt interest,” mentioned the ONS.
Higher curiosity on authorities debt price £17.3bn final month, the very best December determine since month-to-month data started in April 1997.
“Right now we are helping millions of families with the cost of living, but we must also ensure that our level of debt is fair for future generations,” mentioned chancellor Jeremy Hunt.
The price of servicing authorities debt has risen sharply since mid-2021 largely because of larger inflation, with the curiosity payable on index-linked gilts rising in keeping with the retail costs index.
Spending rose on the federal government’s insurance policies to assist households and companies take care of excessive vitality costs, together with the vitality payments help scheme.
Public sector borrowing within the monetary 12 months to December was £128.1bn, £5.1bn more than that borrowed in the identical interval final 12 months, however £2.7bn much less than forecast by the OBR.