Chancellor George Osborne said that the deficit has fallen by a third since the coalition came to office and it will half by the end of this year, but despite this, it still remains one of 'the highest in Europe'.
However, he said the UK will record a budget surplus in 2018-19. The deficit is expected to stand at £108 billion in 2013-2014, down from £111 billion forecast in the Autumn Statement. This will subsequently fall to £75 billion in 2015-2016, £44 billion in 2016-2017, £17 billion in 2017-2018, before moving into a £5 billion surplus in 2018-2019.
National debt will peak at 78.7% of GDP in 2015/2016, lower than the 80% previously forecast, before falling to 78.3% in 2016/2017 and tehn 76.5% in 2018/2019.
Borrowing will be £108 billion this year, lower than the £111.2 billion forecast in December, but still slightly above the £107 billion borrowed in the last year of the previous government.