WHAT DO THE PUBLIC FINANCE FIGURES MEAN FOR THE UK ECONOMY?

<strong>VINCE CABLE </strong>LIBERAL DEMOCRATS<br />This is yet another set of figures confirming how detached from reality the Government's assessment of the state of public finances has been. It is more important than ever for all parties to start talking seriously and honestly about how discipline on public spending will be maintained without cutting vital services.<br /><strong><br />VICKY REDWOOD </strong> CAPITAL ECONOMICS<br />May&rsquo;s public finance data brought further evidence of the damaging impact of the economic downturn on the already dreadful fiscal position. The monthly deficit of &pound;19.9bn left public borrowing on track to total close to &pound;200bn this year, further underlining the need for a severe fiscal consolidation over the next few years.<br /><strong><br />ALAN CLARKE </strong>BNP PARIBAS<br />We&rsquo;re bracing for bad public finance numbers and will continue to do so. This single increase in net borrowing is half what the annual requirement was a few years ago. It&rsquo;s really an issue for 2010 onwards because we&rsquo;re amassing this amount of Government debt. Between mid-2010 and 2012, growth won&rsquo;t be much above zero.