Public borrowing has soared to a record £90 billion in the past financial year and unemployment reached the highest level since Labour came to power in 1997, piling pressure on Alistair Darling on the day he unveiled one of the most important Budgets in decades.
The misery for workers was also underlined as private sector wages fell for the first time in nearly 20 years in the three months to February, official figures show.
Borrowing for the year was £55.3 billion more than last year, smashing the Treasury’s own forecast of £78 billion.
The Chancellor was expected to reveal today that public borrowing would reach £170 billion between 2009 and 2010, a rise from the £118 billion figure projected in the Pre-Budget Report in November.
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