Rishi Sunak says scale of borrowing cannot be ignored

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Speaking to colleagues before delivering budget, chancellor says borrowing has reached levels usually seen only in wartime

Rishi Sunak has kicked off budget day with a dire warning to his cabinet colleagues that it would not be “right or responsible” for a Conservative government to ignore the scale of government borrowing caused by the Covid crisis.

Giving the cabinet a preview of his budget plans on Wednesday morning, the chancellor stressed that the cost of supporting the economy and the NHS through the pandemic had taken borrowing to levels usually only seen in wartime.

Related: From forecasts to furlough: what to expect in the budget

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