Budget deficit hits record

By politics.co.uk staff

Britain’s budget deficit has hit an all-time high, with a record £16 billion last – £6 billion worse than August last year.

New public sector debt now stands at £804.8 billion, equivalent to 57.5 per cent of gross domestic product, according to official figures released today.

“Today’s figures are in line with budget forecasts,” a treasury spokesman said.

“They reflect impact of the glob financial crisis on tax receipts.”

The Tories siezed on the figures as prooof of Labour’s failings as a government.

Shadow chief secretary to the Treasury Philip Hammond said: “We used to worry about borrowing £16 billion in an entire year.

“Now Labour have done it in just one month with a new August borrowing record. These shocking figures show the depth of Gordon Brown’s debt crisis and just how irresponsible he was to pretend that spending cuts weren’t necessary.”

In later interview with the BBC, David Cameron suggested the government had lost control of the public finances altogether.

“We used to worry about borrowing £16bn in a whole year, but under this government we are borrowing it in a single month, they have completely lost control of the nation’s finances,” he said.

The news came as chancellor Alistair Darling began a series of meetings with cabinet colleagues to decide what could be cut.