Record January Government debt

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Government borrowing hits January record Government borrowing hit £8.8bn last month due to the cost of the nation’s coronavirus-related spending. The figure marks the highest January reading since records began almost 30 years ago and sees the first time in ten years that borrowing in the first month of the year has outweighed the total pulled in via tax and other income. The Office for National Statistics report shows that Government borrowing for this financial year stands at £270.6bn, £222bn more than a year ago, with the Office for Budget Responsibility having estimated that borrowing could reach £393.5bn by the end of the financial year in March. The increase in borrowing has seen the national debt climb to £2.11trn, with the UK's overall debt now at 97.6% of GDP. While the haul from self-assessment income tax payments came in at £16.8bn – up £1.4bn on January 2020 - this was not enough to outweigh falls in other taxes including VAT and business rates. Overall tax receipts were down £800m year-on-year.

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