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Government borrowing

Government borrowed £144 billion in 2021/22, according to the ONS’s third provisional estimate, which is equivalent to 6.1% of GDP. Borrowing is around £166 billion lower than in 2020/21.

These provisional figures contain some forecast data and will be revised in the coming months.

Public sector net borrowing, % GDP

Government debt

Government debt has risen from 83% of GDP at the end of 2019/20 to 96% of GDP at the end of 2021/22.

Public sector net debt, % GDP

The Library briefing Spring Statement 2022: A summary gives an overview of the OBR’s March 2022 forecast.

The Library briefing Coronavirus: Effect on the economy and public finances looks at the effect of coronavirus on the public finances.

Definitions and notes

The ONS’s figures for 2020/21 provisional: they’re not final figures and may be revised as provisional data are replaced with final audited data.

Net borrowing – often described as the deficit – is the difference between what the government spends and what it receives in taxes over a particular time period.

Net debt is the total amount that the public sector owes – it is largely the stock of past borrowing.

All figures exclude public sector banks.


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