The latest release of public sector finances shows that the Government's deficit reduction strategy is not quite on track. The headline figure, public sector net borrowing (PSNB), was up by £2.7bn year on year, leaving the Government borrowing £17.9bn in May. As a result, public sector net debt (PSND) was up as well, and still stands just over £1trn. It has risen by £92.1bn in the last year.
Following a rare budget surplus in April, the cumulative borrowing for financial year 2012-13 currently stands at £0.4bn, and is predicted to be a shade over £90bn for the total year.
Month on month, spending was up 7.9 per cent, but revenue rose just 1.6 per cent, and tax receipts actually fell by 7.3 per cent, although some of that is to be expected – tax receipts, for instance, always spike in April, as corporations pay large chunks of their bills in that month.