Sunak Vows Strong Finances as OECD Lays Bare Virus Hit to U.K.
(Bloomberg) -- Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak said he plans bring the U.K.’s public finances under control once the coronavirus is over as new figures underscored the fiscal damage inflicted by the pandemic.
Sunak made his comments to lawmakers as new OECD forecasts showed that only Brazil is set to borrow more than than Britain this year, with the U.K. budget deficit estimated at a peacetime high of 16.7% of economic output.
The government intends to return the deficit and debt to a “sustainable and strong position” once the uncertainty hanging over the economy has passed, Sunak said during a question-and-answer session in the House of Commons Tuesday.
The pandemic has taken a heavy toll on public health and the economy, with the OECD predicting U.K. output will shrink 11.2% this year, the most since the Great Frost of 1709. Only Argentina and Spain are forecast to have a bigger slump.
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