Government finances record highest surplus for 17 years in January

Government finances saw a surplus of £9.4bn in January 2017, £0.3bn more than in January 2016 and the highest January surplus since 2000, according to figures from the ONS.

Government borrowing dropped to £49.3bn in the current financial year to January 2017, the lowest year-to-date level since the financial year to January 2008.

ONS figures show Government borrowing has decreased by £13.6bn in the current financial year compared with the same period the previous year.

The Office for Budget Responsibility’s forecast deficit for the current financial year is £68bn, as announced in the Autumn Statement in November. On 8 March Chancellor Philip Hammond will announce the latest Budget.

In a statement reported by the BBC, a Treasury spokesperson said: “We remain committed to returning the public finances to balance and building on our progress in reducing the deficit from 10 per cent to 4 per cent of GDP over the last six years.”