Cash borrowing by the public sector was £89 billion in April 2020, far more than in any previous month on record – Institute for Fiscal Studies

Over the months to come, more and better data will help build a more complete picture. Based on today’s data, it is nevertheless clear that borrowing will increase to historic highs this year. Borrowing of around £300 billion, or 15% of GDP, as the OBR’s Coronavirus reference scenario projects, certainly seems plausible, a level which has not been reached since the Second World War (but, as a share of GDP, would still be below that borrowed in the four years from 1940–41 to 1943–44).