• Public sector net borrowing was £15.4bn in December 2012, £0.6bn higher than in December 2011
    Commenting on the public sector finances for December 2012, published today by the ONS, David Kern, Chief Economist at the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), said:
    “On a comparable basis, public sector net borrowing for the period April-December 2012 was £7.2bn higher than in the same period of the previous year. While this highlights the continued pressures facing the government’s finances, at a time when the economy is stagnant and tax receipts are weak, it is important to emphasise that the cumulative excess in the nine months to December was slightly on November’s figures.
“Clearly, Britain’s structural deficit remains unacceptably high. But the weakness of the economy reinforces the case for adhering to the deficit cutting programme alongside new growth enhancing policies. The Chancellor is obviously facing serious challenges. To maintain confidence, he must persevere with real cuts in current spending and continue to prioritse capital investment.
“The Chancellor’s March budget must intensify measures that increase the supply potential of the economy. This means supporting exports, construction, and housebuilding in the short term, and supplementing this with effective medium-term initiatives, that will encourage private sector investment in infrastructure projects. Additional steps to increase the availability of credit to viable businesses willing to invest, are also urgently needed.”