UK Government borrowing up to cover Pandemic costs


UK Government borrowing increased significantly in April to cover the costs of the Pandemic response.

How much is the Government borrowing?

In April 2020, the Government borrowed £62 billion.  This is £51 billion more than was borrowed a year earlier in April 2019.

It is also the highest monthly borrowing on record.

What is Government Borrowing?

The UK Government raise money to fund services through taxes. However, in most years, taxes alone are not enough to pay for all of our Public Services. The Government borrow the difference.  This is not uncommon for the UK or many countries.

Is this a high level of borrowing?

The total borrowed in the financial year 2019/20 was about £62 billion.  So it appears the UK Government have had to borrow an entire year’s worth of borrowing in just one month!

How much is the total amount of UK Government debt?

The total debt owed by the UK Government is now approximately £1.8 trillion.

Is this the financial cost of the response to Coronavirus?

According to the ONS;

“The (COVID-19) pandemic has had an unprecedented impact on borrowing, with the £62.1 billion borrowed in April 2020 being the highest in any month on record (records began January 1993).


…the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) estimate that borrowing in the current financial (April 2020 to March 2021) will be £298.4 billion, around five times the amount borrowed in the latest full financial year (April 2019 to March 2020) and almost twice as much that borrowed in the financial year ending March 2010, at the peak of the financial crisis.”

Notes and Sources

The ONS are the official UK Government agency providing data on Government spending.

As per the ONS, data provided can be an estimate which will be checked and revised in the future. Some numbers above are rounded to make the article easier to read.

Full details from the ONS.