Brown reveals £37bn budget deficit

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Indy Politics

Chancellor Gordon Brown today announced a sharp increase in borrowing to fund extra public spending and revealed that the public finances were set to plunge £37 billion into the red this year.

In his Pre-Budget Report, he told the Commons that borrowing this year would be £10 billion more than he announced at the time of April's Budget.

He said that borrowing would also be up next year at £30 billion as against his Budget forecast of £24 billion.

The Chancellor announced that he was was allocating another £800 million for military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan - taking the total spending on the "war on terrorism" to £6.3 billion.

Mr Brown confirmed that the Government would be switching over to the euro-zone measure of inflation - the harmonised index of consumer prices (HICP).