Government borrowing has dropped to £22.3 billion in October, down from £28.6bn a month earlier, as a result of continued spending to support the UK economy during the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS) central government tax receipts are estimated to have been £39.7bn in October, compared with £42.2bn in the same period last year, with decreases in VAT, business rates and PAYE income tax.

£71.3bn was spent on day-to-day activities in the period – £6.4 billion more than in October 2019.

This growth includes £1.3bn in coronavirus job retention scheme grants and £0.3bn in self employment income support scheme payments.

So far this year, public sector net borrowing in the first seven months of the financial year is estimated to have been £214.9bn, which is £169.1bn more than in the same period last year.

The figure is also the highest public sector borrowing in any April to October period since records began in 1993.

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