George Osborne’s public finances headache worsened yesterday as official figures showed that the deficit in August came in at £11.6bn, £700m more than the same month last year and higher than City expectations.
The Office for National Statistics said public borrowing for the tax year to date is £45.4bn, 6 per cent more than the same stage of 2013/14.
Weak income tax receipts are primarily responsible for the overshoot. The annual comparison has been distorted by strong receipts in early 2013/14. But income tax and national insurance receipts were still weak in August, rising by just 1.6 per cent year-on-year despite record employment numbers.
Analysts predicted that the Coalition could find it difficult to meet its £115bn borrowing target. “Public finance figures show that the Coalition is still struggling to bring borrowing down as quickly as planned in the Budget,” said Samuel Tombs of Capital Economics.Reuse content