In what analysts called a “reality check” for the two Conservative prime ministerial contenders, the Office for National Statistics said the government needed to borrow £7.2bn last month – more than double the £3.3bn in the same month a year ago.
Higher spending and lower tax receipts were responsible for the highest June deficit – the gap between government income and spending – in four years, amid signs that the economic slowdown is starting to feed through into the public finances.
Hunt and Johnson have promised big cuts in corporate and personal taxes while campaigning to succeed Theresa May, prompting a warning from the independent Office for Budget Responsibility on Thursday that there was no fiscal “free lunch”. The OBR warned that the contenders’ proposals were uncosted and would be likely to raise government borrowing by tens of billions of pounds.
UK deficit rises; gold hits six-year high; Trump blasts Fed – as it happened – The Guardian