“A mild December was not enough to prevent public debt from reaching £2.5tn for the first time, in a disappointing set of numbers for December 2022. However, the Chancellor will take comfort that cumulative borrowing for the first three quarters of the financial year was less than feared when the budget for 2022/23 was updated back in November. Energy prices coming down much faster than expected should also improve the outlook for the final quarter and the new financial year.
“The deficit is still on track to be one of the highest ever recorded in peacetime, and stabilising the fiscal position is the best that Jeremy Hunt can hope for in the short-term. Amid a sea of red ink, sustainable public finances remain a distant prospect for now.”
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