Latest data on government net borrowing and net debt.

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Government borrowing

Government borrowed £127.9 billion between April and June 2020 according to the ONS’s provisional estimate. This is £103.9 billion more than during the same period of 2019/20. The unprecedented level of borrowing reflects the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

These provisional figures contain some forecast data and are very uncertain. They are likely to be revised in the coming months.

Government debt

At the end of June 2020, public sector net debt was equivalent to 99.6% of GDP which is higher than at the end of June 2019, when the debt-to-GDP ratio was 80.7% of GDP. The debt-to-GDP ratio last exceeded 100% in the financial year ending March 1963.

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 2019/20 are 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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