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In the red: Largest UK budget giveaway in years will come at a cost

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Virus action: Britain’s Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak holds the budget box in Downing Street. Photo: REUTERS/Peter Nicholls

Virus action: Britain’s Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak holds the budget box in Downing Street. Photo: REUTERS/Peter Nicholls

REUTERS

Virus action: Britain’s Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak holds the budget box in Downing Street. Photo: REUTERS/Peter Nicholls

British Chancellor Rishi Sunak yesterday revealed a spending spree that marks the largest 'budget giveaway' since 1992 and will add around £100bn (€113bn) to UK public borrowing by 2024, according to Britain's fiscal watchdog.

The Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) forecast borrowing will soar to a six-year high of £66.7bn in 2021-22 to fund the chancellor's ambitious spending plans.

Mr Sunak unveiled £30bn (€34bn) of extra spending this year, including £12bn to tackle the impact of the coronavirus.

It came just hours after the Bank of England slashed rates from 0.75pc down to the historic low of 0.25pc as part of emergency action to counter the economic shock of the outbreak.

The OBR estimates the chancellor's total budget spending plans - worth £175bn over the next five years - will boost growth over the next two years by 0.5 percentage points. But it will take its toll on the country's borrowing level.

Irish Independent