New Times,
New Thinking.

  1. Business
  2. Economics
24 May 2011

Osborne is borrowing more than ever

Public borrowing was £10bn in April – the highest figure ever recorded for that month.

By George Eaton

So much for George Osborne’s “deficit reduction” strategy – the latest figures show that borrowing is higher than ever.

Today’s data release by the Office for National Statistics reveals that public borrowing rose to £10bn last month, £2.7bn higher than a year ago and the worst figure ever recorded for the month of April.

It’s worth noting that the difference is largely due to Labour’s 50 per cent tax on bank bonuses over £25,000, which raised £3.5bn last year. Osborne’s decision not to repeat the tax (as Ed Balls has demanded) means that revenue is significantly lower this year.

Then there’s the fact that the economy hasn’t grown for the last six months. The 0.5 per cent growth we saw in the last quarter didn’t even recover the lost output of the previous quarter, in the words of Sunder Katwala, “a 0.5 per cent increase on the reduced figure doesn’t make up for the 0.5 per cent fall from from a higher base”. As Osborne’s critics have persistently warned, anaemic growth means a slower pace of deficit reduction.

Select and enter your email address Your weekly guide to the best writing on ideas, politics, books and culture every Saturday. The best way to sign up for The Saturday Read is via saturdayread.substack.com The New Statesman's quick and essential guide to the news and politics of the day. The best way to sign up for Morning Call is via morningcall.substack.com
  • Administration / Office
  • Arts and Culture
  • Board Member
  • Business / Corporate Services
  • Client / Customer Services
  • Communications
  • Construction, Works, Engineering
  • Education, Curriculum and Teaching
  • Environment, Conservation and NRM
  • Facility / Grounds Management and Maintenance
  • Finance Management
  • Health - Medical and Nursing Management
  • HR, Training and Organisational Development
  • Information and Communications Technology
  • Information Services, Statistics, Records, Archives
  • Infrastructure Management - Transport, Utilities
  • Legal Officers and Practitioners
  • Librarians and Library Management
  • Management
  • Marketing
  • OH&S, Risk Management
  • Operations Management
  • Planning, Policy, Strategy
  • Printing, Design, Publishing, Web
  • Projects, Programs and Advisors
  • Property, Assets and Fleet Management
  • Public Relations and Media
  • Purchasing and Procurement
  • Quality Management
  • Science and Technical Research and Development
  • Security and Law Enforcement
  • Service Delivery
  • Sport and Recreation
  • Travel, Accommodation, Tourism
  • Wellbeing, Community / Social Services
Visit our privacy Policy for more information about our services, how Progressive Media Investments may use, process and share your personal data, including information on your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications.
THANK YOU

At the Budget, Osborne was forced to announce that borrowing would be £44bn higher than expected. Today’s figures mean that it will be higher still. As a result, there’s every possibility that the Chancellor will fail to meet his defining pledge to eliminate the structural deficit by the end of this parliament.

Content from our partners
Peatlands are nature's unsung climate warriors
How the apprenticeship levy helps small businesses to transform their workforce
How to reform the apprenticeship levy