The size of the deficit was the result of a combination of lower tax receipts and a surge in public spending. Government spending climbed 8% in the six months to September, as money was pumped into the ailing NHS and other public services.
The reduction in tax receipts was due to smaller tackings of corporate tax as companies recorded lower levels of profitability.
City experts now say the chancellor will be forced to downgrade growth prospects, as the deficit is already worse than £11bn forecast by Gordon Brown in his Budget speech earlier this year. There are also fears he may be forced to raise taxes as a result of the deficit.
In his Budget speech, Brown forecast growth at between 3% and 4% for the year.
Does Darwin's theory apply to taxation? Colin ponders...
The EC has been instructed to draft a European Union (EU) directive authorising an EU financial transaction tax, which would apply to ten of the EU’s 28 member states
Accountancy watchdog the FRC has dropped its investigation into the former chief financial officer of Tesco, nearly two years after the supermarket was engulfed in an accounting scandal
Colin imagines how Apple's logo might change in the wake of the EC's ruling over its Irish tax arrangements