• In the current financial year to date (April 2015-January 2016) public sector net borrowing, excluding public sector banks, was £10.6 billion lower than in the same period in the previous financial year.
  • Public sector net debt, excluding public sector banks, at the end of January 2016 was 82.8% of GDP.

Commenting on the public sector finance figures for January 2016, published today by the ONS, David Kern, BCC Chief Economist, said:

“For the second month in a row the public finances are showing some gradual improvement, after months of disappointing performance. While it seems likely that borrowing in this financial year will be lower than in the previous one, there is still uncertainty as to whether the OBR’s forecast for government borrowing made in the Autumn Statement will be met.

“Lower revenues from Britain’s banking and oil and gas sectors have reduced the UK’s ability to generate tax receipts, making the task of repairing our public finances more difficult. More must be done to strengthen and broaden our tax base by boosting business growth if are we to achieve a budget surplus by the end of this parliament.”