UK finances show ‘slight improvement’
The UK’s finances improved slightly in November, according to the latest figures from the Office of National Statistics (ONS).
UK investment in public sector net borrowing fell to £9.9bn, which compares to £8.2bn in the same month in 2005, and recepits from tax grew faster than spending. Total tax receipts rose to £34.5bn from £32.9bn a year ago, meaning the total budget deficit in the financial year since April stands at £31.9bn. Expenditure rose from £41.8bn from £41.4bn.
However, in the UK plc saving and investment arena, tax receipts were substantially lower than in October, when the Government received an unexpectedly large surplus due to accelerated corporate tax payments.
In his pre-Budget report earlier this month, Gordon Brown said that borrowing for the fiscal year would be £37bn, a bit more than the £36bn he allocated in March. Economists and other observers of the UK saving and investment arena say that the figures will have to improve if he is to meet his target for Government borrowing next year.
This was highlighted in the current budget – calculated without taking into account Government UK investment – where a deficit of £7.7bn was recorded in November, compared to £8.2bn last year.