UK debt reaches record high as government borrowing hits £19.1bn

The UK’s debt has reached a new high as government borrowing hit £19.1bn last month as it continues to battle the coronavirus pandemic and the economic fallout of lockdown.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said the public sector had borrowed more last month than during any other February since records began in 1993.

The debt owed by public bodies has increased by £333bn since the start of April, the first month of full lockdown in the UK.

It brings the total debt to £2.131 trillion, the ONS said.

Central government bodies are believed to have spent around £72.6bn running their day-to-day activities in February, a rise of £14.2bn compared with February 2020. The figure includes £3.9bn spent on supporting jobs through Covid-19.

The chancellor of the exchequer, Rishi Sunak, pledged early on in the pandemic to provide whatever support businesses needed to help them through the government-imposed lockdowns.


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