Let's start with the bad news. According to the ONS, government borrowing is worse than expected this month. Again. Well that is hardly a surprise. Spending is up again. Not by as much as expected, which might even be taken as `a bit of good news, but it isn't because whereas current government spending rose 4.8% to £279bn from £266.3bn, tax revenues in the first half of the financial year were down 10% £219.1bn from £244.2bn in the same period last year.
Now lets look at those differences again: £279 bn spent and £219 bn taken in taxes, or £60 bn shortfall against £27 bn of spending, and tax revenues down by 3% more than government forecasts.
But looking at the figures in more detail it is even worse than that because for the first time I can recall the receipts from income tax and corporation tax are to be lower than the totals paid out in benefits. Yes, the government gives out more in handouts than it collects in taxes on profits and income. And that is before it starts paying for any "frontline" services such as education, the NHS and defence, which are met out of VAT, petrol duty and the like and the balance passed on to your grandchildren.