Government borrowing hits £55.2bn in May to cope with Covid-19 economic fallout

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) added that public sector borrowing – excluding banks owned by the state – was nearly nine times higher than the levels in May 2019. It means the UK’s debt mountain has also now grown to more than the entire country’s output – gross domestic product – for the first time since 1963, officials added, to £1.95 trillion or 100.9% of GDP. The furlough scheme is expected to cost the Treasury £60 billion by the time it closes in October, according to the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR). All the extra borrowing means debt at the end of May was £1.95 trillion, up £173.2 billion, or 20.5 percentage points, compared with the same month a year ago.