The August figures for UK public spending and borrowing show:
1. Current spending (excluding debt interest) rose by 4.4% for the month, and by 3.7% for the April to August period. This is well ahead of the stated inflation rate.
2. Debt interest payments fell, thanks to QE. Many will write about the slower increase in current spending including this effect. The rise is then 2.5% for the month.
3. Taxes on income and wealth fell by 3.5% for the April to August period, and by 1.1% for August alone.
National Insurance contributions rose by 5% for the April to August period, and by 6.5% for August alone.
4. Total gross public debt (including banks) stood at £3 228 238 million at the end of August (please note those who say the government does not publish the figures – they do. This does not include the state retirement pension which continues to be reported on a a pay as you go basis for reasons we have discussed, but can easily be adjusted for this)
5. The adjusted deficit for April to August was £59 billion (adding back the Post Office Pension item) compared to £48.4 billion in 2011.