HomeBusinessDecember's high public borrowing is driven by energy support and debt expenses.

December’s high public borrowing is driven by energy support and debt expenses.

Ministers are likely to use the most recent data to buttress their position that public sector pay demands are unaffordable.

December had the greatest level of government borrowing since records began, according to official data.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) reported a total of £27.4 billion, an increase of about £17 billion compared to the same month last year.

It blamed expenditures from energy support programs totaling £7 billion.

In addition, interest payments on debt totaled £17.3 billion.

December's high public borrowing is driven by energy support and debt expenses.

The ONS reported that this amount was the second highest for a single month, trailing only the £20 billion recorded in June 2022.

As many government bonds are tied to the Retail Prices Index, £13.7 billion of the total represented the impact of inflation.

In the fiscal year ending in March, the independent Office for Budget Responsibility estimates that the government’s debt interest cost will total about £116 billion.

The December amount brought the total to date to £87.8 billion.

The whole net debt figure was almost £10 billion greater than what many economists had predicted.

As strikes continue to impair numerous services, ministers might exploit this to support their resolute stance on public sector wage rises.

The administration has emphasized that settlements must be affordable, as unions representing nurses, ambulance personnel, and firefighters continue to demand wage increases to protect their members from the rising cost of living.

In response to the debt data, Chancellor Jeremy Hunt stated, “We are currently assisting millions of families with the cost of living, but we must also ensure that our level of debt is equitable for future generations.”

“We have already made some difficult decisions to reduce the debt, and we must keep to this strategy so that we can halve inflation this year and restart growth, creating better-paying jobs across the nation.”

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