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Government borrowing

Government borrowed £107 billion in the eleven months of the financial year to February 2024, £5 billion less than in the same period of the previous financial year. The Office for Budget Responsibility forecast the government will borrow £114 billion across the whole of 2023/24.

Public sector net borrowing, % GDP

Government debt

Government debt was equivalent to 97.1% of GDP at the end of February 2024. It was 94.8% of GDP at the end of February 2023.

If we remove the Bank of England’s (BoE’s) debt, we get an alternative measure of government’s underlying debt. Government debt (excluding the BoE) was 88.5% of GDP at the end of February 2024. It was 84.1% of GDP a year before, at the end of February 2023.

Public sector net debt, % GDP

Definitions and notes

The ONS’s figures for 2022/23 and 2023/24 are 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.

Further information

Find all of the Library’s research on the 2024 Spring Budget in one place.

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