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UK finances show reduced January surplus of £4.7bn


UK financial figures have shown that the January surplus for 2014 has decreased by around £1.3bn in comparison to the same period in 2013, as income from taxes and company profits fell.

Revenue exceeded expenditure by £4.7bn in January 2013, down from £6bn recorded in January 2013, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

As the government generally receives high volumes of income from tax in January, it is generally the biggest month of the UK tax year and a surplus is often recorded, whereas the government usually has to borrow money to cover its expenses in most other months.

The figures have raised some fears over the countries ability to reduce the overall deficit, which now stands at around £1.24tn, the equivalent of 74.6% of the UK’s total economic output. However, some statisticians have warned not to read in to the figures too much, as it’s possible that the reason revenue from tax fell is simply that people paid their taxes more promptly this year.

Howard Archer, an economist at HIS Global Insight in London commented that Chancellor George Osborne is still on track to meet government targets by stating: “The chancellor seems firmly on track to at least meet his downwardly revised fiscal targets.” He also went on to say, “the hope is that the trend will increasingly improve over the coming months as stronger economic and housing-market activity increasingly feeds through to boost tax revenues and help limit benefit payments.”

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