UK national debt highest since 1960s after record October borrowing – business live

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Rolling coverage of the latest economic and financial news

  • Introduction: UK borrowed £22.3bn last month, an October record
  • National debt now 100.8% of GDP, not seen since the early 1960s

7.40am GMT

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Britain has racked up another month of record-breaking borrowing, as the cost of the Covid-19 pandemic continues to mount.

Borrowing in the first seven months of the financial year-to-October 2020 was £214.9 billion, nearly four times the £56.1 billion borrowed in the whole of 2019/20. #deficit #debt #PSNBex https://t.co/Y5EmrtqZTo pic.twitter.com/N4LyBQbzJT

It is understood that NHS staff, including doctors and nurses, will be exempt from the renewed period of restraint to avoid triggering an angry public backlash as a result of the frontline role played by healthcare workers during the pandemic.

However, unions warned a renewed pay freeze elsewhere would still come as a kick in the teeth for staff after Boris Johnson had promised to bring austerity to an end before the 2019 election, and as millions of key workers continue to keep the country going through the health emergency.

Related: New UK spending row as Rishi Sunak puts squeeze on public sector salaries

Friday’s Guardian: “New spending row as Sunak puts squeeze on public sector salaries” #BBCPapers #TomorrowsPapersToday pic.twitter.com/Y3Hcgx5ID1

Friday’s Mail: “Pay blow for £5m to fill Covid black hole” #BBCPapers #TomorrowsPapersToday pic.twitter.com/PdcyqsYHxy

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