Responding to new figures which show that UK Government borrowing was at its highest levels in January since records began, Christine Jardine MP, Liberal Democrat Treasury Spokesperson said:
“These record borrowing figures demonstrate clearly the scale of the challenge posed by COVID-19, but they must not be seen as an excuse for cutting support and leaving behind those across the UK who are struggling.
"While the vaccine offers hope, the pandemic is far from over and the Government must improve, not reduce help. Furlough must be extended, the three million excluded must be brought under the Government's umbrella, and struggling small businesses need urgent relief if we are to avert thousands of closures.
“The Chancellor needs to put people before the numbers in the March budget and commit all the support that people and businesses desperately need.”
*The latest data from the ONS on Public Sector Finances UK shows that debt and UK government borrowing was £8.8bn in January 2021, the highest January figure since records began in 1993.
*Government borrowing in the 2020-21 financial year has reached £270.6bn so far, which is £222bn more than a year ago
*The UK's overall debt is now worth 97.6% of GDP – a level not seen since the early 1960s.*