Public finance results a blow to Brown

Link: Brown to face grilling over forecasts

Official figures published on December 20 showed that in November the government had to borrow almost £10bn (£9.4bn).

Total government borrowing for the year so far now stands at more than £32bn.

City experts believe the government is on course to borrow around £40bn for the whole of 2004, which is £6bn more than estimated by Gordon Brown in his recent pre-Budget report.

It has fuelled speculation that taxes may have to rise to meet the rising cost of borrowing.

The Treasury, though, remained upbeat and said it was on course to meet its forecasts.

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