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UK Reports Record £16.7 Billion Budget Surplus Amid Speculation on Future Tax Cuts

The U.K. achieved a net budget surplus of £16.7 billion ($21.1 billion) in January, marking the highest figure ever recorded for this month, as reported by official data on Wednesday.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) noted that January typically sees a budget surplus because it’s when self-assessed annual income tax payments are made.

Self-assessed income and capital gains tax receipts totaled £33 billion in January, down £1.8 billion from January last year.

Total government tax receipts reached a record £90.8 billion, up £2.9 billion from January 2023.

The UK achieves a record budget surplus of £16.7 billion in January, the highest ever for this month.

Government borrowing for the financial year ending in January 2024 was £96.6 billion, £3.1 billion less than the same period last year, and £9.2 billion less than the forecast by the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR).

Public debt was about 96.5% of the annual GDP, up 1.8 percentage points from January 2023, a level not seen since the early 1960s, according to the ONS.

“We spent hundreds of billions to pay wages, support businesses, and protect lives during Covid, and to pay half of people’s energy bills after Putin invaded Ukraine,” said Laura Trott, the government’s chief secretary to the Treasury.

Public debt at 96.5% of GDP, levels not seen since the early 1960s, says ONS.

“But we can’t leave future generations to pay for this, so we’ve made tough decisions to reduce borrowing more than the OBR expected in March,” per the report.

These figures come just before Finance Minister Jeremy Hunt’s Spring Budget on March 6, which will outline the government’s fiscal policy for the year.

Per the general election approaching by January 2025 and the Labour Party significantly ahead in the polls, there’s growing talk about whether Finance Minister Jeremy Hunt might propose tax cuts in the upcoming budget next month.

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