Michael Burton 20 July 2018

Public finances perform better than expected

Public finances perform better than expected image

The public finances continue to perform better than expectations, although total borrowing is up year-on-year even before the promised increase in health spending, according to the latest figures from the Office for National Statistics.

Borrowing in the latest full financial year (April 2017 to March 2018) was the lowest for 11 years, making the deficit 1.9% of GDP compared to a peak of 10% in 2009/10.

The public sector borrowed £39.4bn last year, £6.3bn less than in the previous financial year (2016/17) and £5.8bn less than Office for Budgetary Responsibility predictions.

Of this total, £40.6bn was borrowing for capital spending on infrastructure while borrowing for day to day revenue activities was actually in surplus by £1.3bn for the first time since 2002.

However, total debt excluding public sector banks was £1,792.3bn at the end of June, equivalent to 85.2% of GDP, an increase of £33bn on June 2017 and the public sector continues to borrow, albeit at a reducing rate.

So far in this financial year, the public sector has borrowed £16.8bn, which is £5.4bn less than in the same period in 2017.

Again, this represents the lowest year-to-date borrowing for 11 years.

Of the £16.8bn borrowed by the public sector, £19.4bn was borrowed by central government while local government borrowing was in surplus by £2.9bn.

In June borrowing was £5.4bn.

For this financial year the OBR expects the public sector to borrow £37.1bn.

Councils vs network operators? image

Councils vs network operators?

The Electronic Communications Code reduces red tape, but in doing so it cuts the potential revenue property owners stand to make and risks pitting local authorities against operators. Zoe Wright reports.
Highways jobs

Air Quality Monitoring Project Manager

Birmingham City Council
£34,788 - £42,683
Seeking a skilled and dedicated individual with a background in environmental protection and air quality to... Birmingham, West Midlands
Recuriter: Birmingham City Council

Director of Children’s Services

London Borough of Bromley
£102,360 - £153,530 + relocation package up to £8,000
Looking for a successful leader who shares our vision for improving outcomes for children, young people, their carers and... Bromley (City/Town), London (Greater)
Recuriter: London Borough of Bromley

Key Stage 3&4 Teaching Assistant

Telford & Wrekin Council
£14,077 - £14,359 per annum
Successful candidate will be dedicated to improving outcomes for these children and to supporting families and other professionals. Telford, Shropshire
Recuriter: Telford & Wrekin Council

Head of Planning Policy, Transport & Infrastructure Planning

Berwick Partners
Competitive Salary
This is a senior position within Be First’s Planning & Building Control Team, and you will... London (Greater)
Recuriter: Berwick Partners

Residential Worker - Longwood Place

Essex County Council
£20200 - £26275 per annum
This is a permanent part time 21 hours a week position. Essex County Council (ECC) is one of the largest and most dynamic local authorities in the UK, England, Essex
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Local Government News

Latest issue - Local Goverrnemnt News

This issue of Local Government News explores how councils can tackle modern slavery and trafficking in their supply chains, finds out more about Cambridge's first cohousing scheme and the launch of a new project to build a shared service pattern library for local government.

This issue also contains a special focus on children's services and how councils are protecting children following local safeguarding children boards being abolished.

Register for your free magazine