As part of the chancellor’s 2021 Budget announcement today, Rishi Sunak and the accompanying Office for Budget Responsibility forecasts revealed the latest extent to which the UK is having to borrow to support the economy through the coronavirus pandemic. Total spending on the country’s pandemic support measures has now reached £344 billion, necessitating levels of borrowing not seen since the two world wars.
As this infographic shows, public sector net borrowing is now forecast to hit 16.9 percent of GDP in the current financial year – a figure not seen since the end of the Second World War. This “unprecedented peacetime expansion in government spending” is intended though, as described in the OBR’s report, to “prevent an even more dramatic fall in output and diminish the potential longer-term adverse effects on the supply capacity of the economy.”
This chart shows UK public sector net borrowing as a share of GDP since 1900.
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