Monthly borrowing figures start to climb down

The UK public borrowed £22.8 billion in June 2021, the highest level in the month in any year second only to June 2020, figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show.

It follows May's borrowing figure of £24.3bn, suggesting that the reliance on borrowing is decreasing as Chancellor Rishi Sunak hopes.

In the first four months of 2021, monthly borrowing increased from £8.8bn in January to £31.7bn in April, £15.6bn less than what was borrowed in April 2020.

In the March budget, the Office for Budget Responsibility estimated that borrowing in 2021/22 would be £234bn, but following the publication of the ONS's June 2021 figures the Institute for Fiscal Studies suggested borrowing will be around £30bn less than this.

It warns that this would "leave the Chancellor with virtually no additional room for permanent giveaways in this year's Spending Review".

That includes the extra £10bn of additional spending per year that the ONS previously said the NHS, schools and public transport would need to cope with additional pressure.

The pressure of public finances is especially tenuous, according to the IFS, given how the Chancellor's March Budget would result in a reduced £17bn for the public sector than pre-pandemic.

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