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.

Fair funding delay image

Fair funding delay

The delay to the fair funding review can only add to anxiety over the future of local government, says Mark Whitehead
Highways jobs

Senior Traffic Engineer

East Riding of Yorkshire Council
£32,029 - £34,788 per annum
Currently seeking an enthusiastic and experienced individual to manage our Traffic Team. East Riding of Yorkshire
Recuriter: East Riding of Yorkshire Council

Chief Executive

Norwich City Council
Competitive Salary
Could you lead an organisation with a £120m turnover? Norwich, Norfolk
Recuriter: Norwich City Council


Chelmsford City Council
Grade 3 - Starting at £17,931 per anum and rising to £19,131
Riverside Leisure centre has now opened and its new exciting 25 metre 10 lane pool with Learner Pool, Splash Zone and Flume needs you to help us ma... Chelmsford, Essex
Recuriter: Chelmsford City Council


Derbyshire County Council
£22,628 - £24,455 per annum
Two posts have become available in the Council's Highways Development Control Section Derbyshire
Recuriter: Derbyshire County Council

Business Systems Support Officer

South Holland District Council
£21,166 - £24,799
Starting salary
Recuriter: South Holland District 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