UK borrowing surges as Covid pushes national debt to record £2.024tn

August’s near-£36bn borrowing figure follows unprecedented government spending

Government borrowing hit almost £36bn in August to push the UK‘s national debt to a record £2.024tn, with the economic fallout of the Covid-19 pandemic weighing heavily on the public finances.

The monthly borrowing figure – a record for August – follows unprecedented spending by the government to combat the coronavirus and sent the accumulated borrowing for the first five months of the fiscal year to almost £174bn. That is the highest level for the period since the Office for National Statistics records began in 1993 and overtakes the total borrowed in an entire year at the peak of the financial crisis.

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