Public borrowing rose by 7.3% in the first quarter of this financial year, meaning that Chancellor George Osborne is off target for reducing the deficit.

The Government borrowed £11.4 billion in June, only £100 million less than the same month last year, and £0.7 billion above analysts’ forecasts.

The 2014/15 deficit now stands at £36.1bn, up from £33.7bn at the same point a year ago. Total public sector net debt is also now a record £1.305 trillion, equivalent to 77.3pc of GDP.

The Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) has set the deficit reduction target at 5.5% of GDP. The latest figures have led financial experts to predict that this target will be hard to achieve.

Chris Leslie, shadow chief secretary to the Treasury, told The Telegraph:

“George Osborne is not only set to break his promise to balance the books by next year, he is also borrowing more so far this year than the same period last year.”

He added that that at the current rate, the Chancellor was on track to borrow £190 billion more than expected.

The Treasury has responded by saying that the figures are “in line” with forecasts, and said that figures were skewed by higher earners taking advantage of the reduction in top rate income tax in April last year.

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