PUBLIC SECTOR BORROWING FALLS

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Public sector borrowing has fallen by £300 million in the financial year to April 2013, figures released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) today.

The small reduction means public borrowing stood at £120.6 billion to April 2013 compared with £120.9 billion for the previous financial year.

Borrowing in March fell from £16.7 billion to £15.1 billion, while total public sector debt now stands at £1.185 trillion, the ONS said, 75.4% of the UK’s gross domestic product (GDP).

Total public sector debt stood at £1.103 trillion at the same point last year, 71.8% of GDP.

David Kern, Chief Economist at the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), said: “Britain’s structural deficit remains unacceptably high, and the increase in the country’s net debt reinforces the case for adhering to a realistic deficit cutting plan.

“The Chancellor should persevere with real cuts in spending, while prioritising measures that will enhance the productive potential of the economy.”

Chancellor George Osborne is widely expected to extend the Funding for Lending Scheme, which aims to encourage more lending to small and medium-sized business, in a bid to boost the economy.

Prime Minister David Cameron has also insisted that tough austerity measures will have to continue.

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