UK’s national debt rises but pace slows

Tim Wallace
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THE UK’S national debt increased again in October, but at a slowing rate, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) revealed yesterday.

Borrowing fell to £6.5bn, down from £12.96bn in September and from £7.72bn in October 2010.

Net debt, excluding financial interventions stands at 62.3 per cent of GDP, down from 62.6 per cent in September. The national debt stands at £966.6bn, or £2.295 trillion once financial interventions are included.

Tax receipts came in at £46.64bn, £1.8bn higher than in October of last year and £14.6bn higher over the year to date, in large part because of the higher rate of VAT.

The ONS also revised September’s borrowing figures, which now stand at £13bn, rather than £14.1bn.

However Markit’s chief economist Chris Williamson warned: “The ability to cut the deficit will get more difficult in coming months due to economic growth being far weaker than the government anticipated.”