Public sector net borrowing, excluding that from public sector banks, hit an estimated £31.7 billion in April 2021, the second highest April borrowing since monthly records began in 1993, £15.6bn less than in April 2020.

The figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) and the Treasury come off the back of an estimated public sector net borrowing of £300.3bn for the financial year 2020/21, the highest figure since records began in 1946.

While they suggest an economic recovery compared to the previous year, monthly borrowing has been ticking upwards since January as follows:

  • January: £8.8bn
  • February: £19.1bn
  • March: £28bn
  • April: £31.7bn.

Richard Murphy, of Tax Research UK, said:

"We are not out of the woods as yet, not by a long way. The claims that the private sector economy is bouncing back look a bit hollow based on this."

He added he expected to see more quantitative easing, the process in which the Bank of England lends the Government newly created money.

Discounting the debt accrued by this method, debt stands at £1,946.4bn, or 88.3% of GDP, according to the ONS.

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