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Government borrowing

The OBR published new forecasts on 17 November 2022. They expect government borrowing to increase in 2022/23, compared with 2021/22.

Much of the increase is due to rising debt interest spending and the cost of providing energy and other cost-of-living support to households and businesses. Borrowing falls in each year from 2022/23 and is forecast to be £69 billion by 2027/28.

Public sector net borrowing, % GDP

Government debt

Government debt was equivalent to 97.3% of GDP at the end of 2021/22. The OBR forecast that it will reach of 64-year peak of 106.7% of GDP in 2023/24 and will then fall.

Public sector net debt, % GDP

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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