UK debt rose £188bn to £2.388 trillion in last year

The debt of the UK government was £2.388 trillion at the end of July 2022 — an increase of £188.4 billion compared with July 2021 — according to the latest figures from the UK’s Office for National Statistics (ONS).

The ONS said the £2.388 trillion public sector net debt excluding public sector banks (PSND ex) was around 95.5% of gross domestic product (GDP), an increase of 1.4 percentage points of GDP compared with July 2021.

Central government debt interest payable was £5.8 billion in July 2022, £2.3 billion more than in July 2021 but £13.9 billion less than the record £19.7 billion payable in June 2022.

The volatility in interest payable is largely because of the effect of Retail Prices Index (RPI) changes on index-linked gilts.

UK public sector net borrowing excluding public sector banks (PSNB ex) was £4.9 billion in July 2022 — £0.8 billion less than in July 2021 but £5.9 billion more than in pre-pandemic July 2019.

Central government day-to-day expenditure increased compared with July 2021 by £3.4 billion to £76.5 billion, with a £2.3 billion increase in debt interest payable and a £2.8 billion increase in net social benefit payments being partially offset by a £1.5 billion reduction in subsidy payments.

Central government receipts were £78.2 billion in July 2022 — £6.1 billion more than in July 2021 — and of this, tax receipts were £58.6 billion, an increase of £4.6 billion compared with July 2021.

The Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR), a UK government agency, said: “The budget deficit continues to fall year on year, with April-to-July borrowing of £55.0 billion down £12.1 billion on last year.

“But it was £3.0 billion above our March forecast profile, largely reflecting higher spending.

“Sharp rises in inflation continue to raise debt interest costs by even more than our forecast assumed, while the cost-of-living payments to means-tested benefit recipients – announced in May, so not reflected in our March forecast – began last month.”

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Mark McSherry
Dalriada Media LLC sites are edited by veteran news journalist Mark McSherry, a former staff editor and reporter with Reuters, Bloomberg and major newspapers including the South China Morning Post, London's Sunday Times and The Scotsman. McSherry's journalism has also appeared in The Washington Post, The Guardian, The Independent, The New York Times, London's Evening Standard and Forbes. McSherry is also a professor of journalism and communication arts in universities and colleges in New York City. Scottish-born McSherry has an MBA from the University of Edinburgh and a Certificate in Global Affairs from New York University.