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Government borrowing

Government borrowed £128 billion during April – December 2022, £5.1 billion more than in the same period of the previous year, but £2.7 billion less than the OBR forecast in November 2022.

Public sector net borrowing, % GDP

Government debt

Government debt was equivalent to 99.5% of GDP at the end of December 2022, which is similar to at the end of December 2021. If the Bank of England’s (BoE’s) debt is removed, we get an alternative measure of government’s underlying debt. Government debt (excluding the BoE) was 88.0% of GDP at the end of December 2022; it was 85.7% of GDP at the end of December 2021.

Public sector net debt, % GDP

Definitions and notes

The ONS’s figures for 2021/22 and 2022/23 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.

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