Covid costs push government borrowing to highest level since WW2

Rishi Sunak

UK public sector borrowing reached £303.1bn in the year to March, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), the highest level since the end of World War Two.

The ONS said that the coronavirus pandemic “has had a substantial impact on the economy and subsequently on public sector borrowing and debt”.

It added that both tax receipts and National Insurance contributions tumbled as public sector borrowing grew by a further £28bn in March.

The huge sums that the Government has borrowed during the Covid-19 crisis have pushed the deficit to its highest point since the end of the Second World War, according to new figures.

This was 14.5% of gross domestic product (GDP), the highest level since 1946, when the deficit hit 15.2% of GDP.

It is a rise from a deficit of £57 billion in the tax year ending March 2020.

It pushed public sector net debt up to £2,141.7 billion, which is 97.7% of GDP – the biggest proportion since the early 1960s.