Budget Deficit Drops By 6% In Last Year
The UK budget deficit has fallen to its lowest level since the financial crisis five years ago.
Official figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show the shortfall in tax revenues over Government spending fell to £107.7bn in the 12 months to the end of March.
The figure showed a drop in the deficit of 6.42%, from £115.1bn the year before.
It was slightly lower than forecast by the Office for Budget Responsibility, in the March Budget delivered by Chancellor George Osborne.
The ONS said borrowing in March dropped by 41% to £6.7bn, amid a plan by the Government to eliminate the deficit entirely by 2017-18.
The latest figures exclude the impact of the Royal Mail pension scheme since the postal service was privatised in October.
It also does not take into account the Bank of England's liquidity boosting scheme, known as quantitative easing.
The ONS says Britain's net public sector debt now stands at £1.27bn, which equates to 75.8% of gross domestic product (GDP).
The figures come as the European Union's statistical agency, Eurostat, said governments across the 28-country bloc recorded lower budget deficits in 2013.
This was due to lower spending and a partial economic recovery that shored up revenues.
Eurostat said budget deficits across the 18-nation eurozone fell from 3.7% of annual GDP in 2012 to 3% last year.
For the entire EU, which also includes non-euro currency members such as Britain, the agency said deficits shrunk from 3.9% to 3.3%.