National debt is now 33% of income, but will climb by another 3% to 36% by 2008-09, according to Gordon Brown's Budget speech.
After going to great lengths to stress a balanced economy is only achievable by looking at both the fiscal and the economy - rather than fiscal policy alone - Brown says it is in the national interests to borrow for investment.
As a result, national borrowing as a percentage of income will increase to:
- 34% in 2004-05;
- 35% for 2005-06;
- 36% for 2006-07;
- 36% for 2007-08;
- 36% for 2008-09.
As a side issue, Brown said his assessment of whether Britain should join the euro will now be looked at again in the 2005 Budget.IFAonline
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From 1 March