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UK government borrowed less than expected last year

The lower-than-expected borrowing for 2022-23 will give the chancellor "more wiggle room to cut taxes or raise spending ahead of the next general election", said Ruth Gregory at Capital Economics.

Ms Gregory said that with the next election fast approaching, she "wouldn't be at all surprised" to see giveaways in the Autumn Statement, following similar moves this spring.

But she added: "With both parties likely to stick to current plans to bring down public debt as a share of GDP, a sizeable fiscal tightening will still be required after the election, whoever is in charge."

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