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Coronavirus sends UK debt over £2 trillion for the first time

a member of staff at a branch of Halifax bank, in London, displays a new British 5 pound sterling note, made from polymer, which is being launched Tuesday, Sept, 13, 2016
a member of staff at a branch of Halifax bank, in London, displays a new British 5 pound sterling note, made from polymer, which is being launched Tuesday, Sept, 13, 2016 Copyright AP Photo/Alastair Grant
Copyright AP Photo/Alastair Grant
By Alessio Dell'Anna
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The coronavirus pandemic's had an unprecedented impact on borrowing.

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UK's Office for National Statistics (ONS) announced on Friday that the national debt has exceeded £2 trillion (€2.23 trillion) for the first time, a £227 billion increase from July last year.

The amount borrowed from April to July 2020 was "almost three times" that borrowed "during the whole of the latest full financial year (April 2019 to March 2020)."

Total borrowing for the current financial year - ending in March 2021 - now could increase to levels six times higher than those recorded in the previous year.

The ONS warning comes after the UK plunged into its largest recession on record, following a 20.4% drop in gross domestic product

The increase in borrowing was mainly caused by the introduction of "public health measures" and "new government policies" aimed at supporting businesses and individuals during the COVID-19 pandemic, the organisation said.

Such measures include a Self Employment Income Support Scheme - to which around 2.7 million Brits have already applied, according to Chancellor Rishi Sunak - as well as an "extraordinary funding" for London's public transport (TFL) and a Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

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