LONDON — The United Kingdom will borrow $151 billion more over five years than was forecast before this summer’s vote for Brexit.
Britain’s finance minister Philip Hammond made the announcement Wednesday during his Autumn Statement financial report.
He said there would be a budget deficit of about $27 billion in 2019/20. His predecessor George Osborne had aimed for a $13 billion surplus for the same financial year.
“The government has therefore set new fiscal targets which aim for 2% underlying deficit and debt falling by 2020, and a balanced budget as soon as possible thereafter,” a government statement said.
Hammond said he would make the economy resilient for leaving the European Union. Britons voted to exit the 28-member bloc at a referendum in June. Prime Minister Theresa May said she will trigger the process to depart the alliance by March next year.
The government said the U.K.’s economy is forecast to be the fastest growing major economy this year, but the Office for Budget Responsibility, an independent watchdog which examines the sustainability of public finances, forecasts growth to slow and inflation to rise over the next two years.