Record budget surplus is tonic for Brown

The UK Treasury recorded a budget surplus in January 2006 of £21.1bn, the
biggest surplus since modern records were started in 1984, according to figures
released by the Office of National Statistics.

The results after 10 months of the financial year means the deficit stands at
£29.8bn on track to meet the chancellor’s forecast of £37bn for the full year.

The figures will please chancellor Gordon Brown, who turned 55 yesterday,
ahead of next month’s Budget speech.

The surplus in public finances will help Brown stick with his golden rule of
only borrowing money for investment purposes and should also ensure that taxes
are not raised in his address to parliament on 22 March.

Equally impressive was public sector net borrowing, which showed a record
surplus of £12.6bn in January, up almost £4bn on the same month last year.

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