Government borrows record £62bn in April amid coronavirus crisis

Government borrowing surged to £62.1 billion to April – the highest figure for any month on record – after heavy spending in the face of coronavirus, according to new figures.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said public sector borrowing – excluding banks owned by the state – was £51.1 billion higher than the same month last year.

The figure is significantly higher than analysts had predicted, with a consensus of economists predicting £30.7 billion for the month.

Meanwhile, borrowing by the state in March 2020 has been revised up by £11.7 billion to £14.7 billion by the ONS.

It said this was driven by a reduction in previous estimates of tax receipts and National Insurance contributions.

Coronavirus
The Treasury (Aaron Chown/PA)

It comes after the Chancellor stepped up financial support for businesses and employees after vast areas of the economy were forced to halt due to the coronavirus lockdown.

As a result of the jump in borrowing, public sector debt rose to £1,887.6 billion at the end of April – £118.4 billion higher than April 2019.

The ONS said that the Government borrowed £62.7 billion over the 12 months to the end of March, representing a £22.5 billion rise on the previous year.

Last month, it jumped £9.3 billion to a higher-than-forecast £48.7 billion in the financial year to March 31.

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