UK kicks off fiscal year with S$60bn budget deficit

26 May, 2021 12:00 AM printer

LONDON: The UK posted a 31.7 billion-pound budget deficit (S$59.9 billion) in April as the new fiscal year got under way The shortfall reported by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) Tuesday was in line with the median forecast of economists but well below the 47.3 billion pounds registered in April last year, when the first coronavirus lockdown pummelled the public finances.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak nonetheless faces a formidable task to rein in the deficit, which hit a peacetime high of 14.3per cent of GDP in the last fiscal year. Borrowing in 2021-22 is still expected to total more than 200 billion pounds, or 10per cent of GDP, and there are doubts that Mr Sunak can deliver on his pledge to balance day-to-day spending and revenue by the middle of the decade without further tax increases, report agencies.