Commenting on the public sector finance figures for April, published today by the Office for National Statistics, David Kern, Chief Economist at the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), said:          

“The public finance figures for April mark a disappointing start to the new financial year, showing a higher than expected deficit. There are a number of special factors that might account for the large deficit, and we should not give too much weight to one figure. However, it is clear that the government’s plans to reduce the deficit by more than £20bn over the year will be a challenge.    

“The fragility of the economic recovery is creating a difficult backdrop, but the government must not deviate from its strategy to restore stability in the UK’s public finances. Businesses support the measures being taken to reduce the deficit, and the emphasis should be on spending cuts rather than tax increases. These must go hand in hand with effective growth-enhancing policies to enable businesses to grow and create jobs.”