UK deficit hits an April high

Julian Harris
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OUT of control government spending sent the deficit soaring to a record high for the month of April, official data exposed yesterday.

Current spending by the central government (excluding capex) hit £54.1bn last month, a five per cent jump from the same point last year. Government borrowing for April struck £10bn, up from £7.3bn in April 2010.

“Chancellor Osborne’s target of reducing borrowing by £30bn in 2011-12 looks more stretching than ever, especially with economic growth looking likely to disappoint,” said Nida Ali of the Ernst and Young Item Club.

Tax receipts fell slightly comparedwith the same point in the last fiscal year, said the Treasury citing a one off bank payroll tax which distorted the figures for April 2010.

The government’s new bank levy will show up in the figures over the course of this fiscal year, it said.

“It is clear from the downward revision to last year’s borrowing figures that the government’s deficit reduction strategy is making headway in dealing with our unsustainable deficit,” a spokesperson hit back.

The deficit for 2010-11 was revised down to £139.4bn; yet government debt now totals £910.1bn, equivalent to 60.1 per cent of Britain’s GDP.