(Alliance News) -Â UK government borrowing in August was the third highest of any month on record due to the Covid-19 crisis, figures from the Office for National Statistics showed on Friday.
Public sector net borrowing, excluding public sector banks, is estimated to have been GBP35.9 billion in August, up by GBP30.5 billion on a year ago and the third highest borrowing in any month since records began in 1993.
Central government bodies are estimated to have spent GBP78.5 billion on day-to-day activities in August, being GBP19.5 billion more than in August 2019. This figure includes GBP6.1 billion on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and GBP4.7 billion in Self Employment Income Support Scheme payments.
The Eat Out to Help Out scheme, which ran through August offering diners up to GBP10 off a meal, cost the government GBP500 million.
Borrowing in the first five months of this financial year - April to August - is estimated to have been GBP173.7 billion. This is GBP146.9 billion more than in the same period last year and the highest borrowing in any April to August period since records began.
"The coronavirus lockdown has meant central government tax receipts and National Insurance contributions (combined) in the five months between April and August 2020 were down 13.4% on a year earlier. Over the same period, the government's support for individuals and businesses contributed to an increase of 34.2% in central government's day-to-day spending compared with a year earlier," the ONS explained.
By Lucy Heming;Â email@example.com
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