British public deficit higher than expected

08:51, July 21, 2010      

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British public sector borrowing was higher than expected in June, official data showed Tuesday, in a blow to government hopes of slashing the huge public deficit.

The public deficit stood at 14.5 billion pounds ($22 billion), the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said in a statement.

The reading was higher than market expectations for a deficit of 13.5 billion pounds ($21 billion), but was a slight improvement from the 14.7 billion in June 2009.

The ONS added that the public sector net cash requirement - an alternative measure of public fi-nances - expanded last month to show a deficit of 20.9 billion pounds ($32 billion), compared with 20.2 billion pounds in June 2009.

Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne last month unveiled higher taxation and spending cuts in an emergency budget aimed at narrowing the nation's enormous public deficit.

The Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition, which took power after a general election in May, inherited a record 154.7 billion pound ($233 billion) deficit from the previous Labour govern-ment.

The goal is to reduce the shortfall to 37 billion pounds ($57 billion) in 2014-15 and to 20 billion pounds ($31 billion) in 2015-16.

Source: Global Times


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