UK public sector borrowing greater than doubled in December, pushed up by larger debt curiosity funds and the federal government’s measures to assist households and companies with hovering vitality costs.

Public sector internet borrowing hit £27.4bn final month, up from a revised £10.7bn in the identical month in 2021 and the best December borrowing since month-to-month data started in 1993, in accordance with knowledge printed by the Workplace for Nationwide Statistics on Tuesday.

The determine was a lot larger than the £17.7bn forecast by economists polled by Reuters and nicely above the £17.6bn forecast in November by the Workplace for Price range Accountability, the UK fiscal watchdog.

Public borrowing rose “largely due to a pointy rise in spending on vitality help schemes and a rise in debt curiosity,” stated the ONS.

Greater curiosity on authorities debt value £17.3bn final month, the best December determine since month-to-month data started in April 1997.

“Proper now we’re serving to hundreds of thousands of households with the price of dwelling, however we should additionally make sure that our stage of debt is honest for future generations,” stated chancellor Jeremy Hunt.

The price of servicing authorities debt has risen sharply since mid-2021 largely because of larger inflation, with the curiosity payable on index-linked gilts rising consistent with the retail costs index.

Spending rose on the federal government’s insurance policies to assist households and companies take care of excessive vitality costs, together with the vitality payments help scheme.

Public sector borrowing within the monetary 12 months to December was £128.1bn, £5.1bn greater than that borrowed in the identical interval final 12 months, however £2.7bn lower than forecast by the OBR.

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