How much cash is coronavirus costing the government?

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As politicians in the North West lobby the government for coronavirus cash, Sky News’ Paul Kelso asks how much debt is being taken on?

In just six months the government has borrowed £208bn, taking the national debt to more than 103% of GDP.

In September alone, borrowing rose by £36bn, equivalent to almost half of all spending, £5.9bn of which went on the furlough scheme and self-employed support.

That’s about the same amount that tax receipts fell year-on-year as a consequence of the slowing economy and relief offered by HMRC.

In that context, the £5m gap that scuppered a deal between central government and Greater Manchester mayor Andy Burnham is a pittance. Yet it also explains why the chancellor is apparently so keen to rein in the level of support he is offering.

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