Commenting on the public finance figures, published today by the ONS, David Kern, Chief Economist at the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), said:
“The budget deficit was marginally lower than expected in September, but the figure is huge by historical standards. Unless there is a clear improvement in the next few months, there is a danger that net borrowing in the current financial year will total even more than the £175bn forecast in the last Budget.
“Although there is hope that the UK recession is ending, the economy is still weak and it is too early to start tightening policy. The UK must produce a credible medium-term plan to cut the deficit, to ensure that our international credit rating is not threatened.
“The scale of the adjustment facing the UK over the next few years is unprecedented. Unless the Government demonstrates that it can tackle the deficit without damaging wealth-creating businesses, the recovery will be threatened, the deficit will worsen further, and the country will face serious risks of further declines.”