• In the period April – December 2014 public sector net borrowing, excluding public sector net banks, was £0.1bn lower than the previous year.
  • In December 2014 public sector net borrowing, excluding public sector banks, rose by £2.9bn compared with the previous year.
  • At the end of December 2014 public sector net debt, excluding public sector banks, was 80.9% of GDP.

Commenting on the latest public sector finances published today by the ONS, David Kern, Chief Economist at the British Chambers of Commerce said:

“It is disappointing that public sector borrowing in December was again higher than a year ago. The current trends suggest that it will be difficult for the government to meet its target for this financial year, although there could be a significant improvement when the January figures – which will include significant income tax payments from businesses to the exchequer - are published next month.

“Although Britain’s growth has improved significantly over the past year, our ability to generate tax receipts is smaller than before the financial crisis, this reflects falling oil and gas production, the reduced profitability of our banking sector and relatively weak earnings growth. In these circumstances it is vital that we persevere with a long-term strategy for reducing fiscal deficit to make it possible for businesses to drive a sustainable recovery.”