Govt to spend MORE on interest charges for UK’s £2.2trillion debt than schools

THE Treasury will spend more this year on debt interest than schools as “jaw-dropping” borrowing costs spiral in the wake of Covid and Ukraine.

Rishi Sunak is braced for a £50billion bill in 2021/22 for simply paying off the interest charges on our soaring £2.2trillion national debt.

Rishi Sunak is braced for a £50billion bill in 2021/22 for paying off interest charges on our £2.2trillion national debt

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Rishi Sunak is braced for a £50billion bill in 2021/22 for paying off interest charges on our £2.2trillion national debtCredit: The Mega Agency Fuel Duty cuts in EuropeFuel Duty cuts in Europe

That’s more than the £45billion schools budget for England.

Interest payments on the ­borrowing are expected to top more than £8billion for February alone when published today.

The cost of borrowing has soared in the wake of the Covid pandemic and fallout from Putin’s war on Ukraine — leaving the Chancellor thin gruel for this week’s mini-Budget to tackle the cost of living crisis.

Mr Sunak is facing the highest levels of debt as a percentage of GDP since the 1960s after being handed the latest forecast figures ahead of his Spring Statement on Wednesday.

Baby milk prices increase as cost of living crisis deepens even furtherCut fuel duty by AT LEAST 5p to help Brits beat price hikes, MPs urge Rishi

Last night, a Treasury source told The Sun: “Things are ­looking pretty bleak.

“Borrowing, the cost of borrowing and debt are jaw-droppingly high and the uncertain situation in Ukraine risks them going up even more.

“There’s not a lot of room for manoeuvre — which puts the Chancellor in a tight spot.”

Mr Sunak is under intense pressure to slash fuel duty on Wednesday after another record-smashing day at the pumps.

Figures from Experian Catalyst show the average price of a litre of fuel on Sunday was 167p for petrol and 179p for diesel.

That works out as an increase of 18p for petrol and 26p for diesel over the past month.

A 5p cut in fuel duty would still see Brits paying some of the highest taxes in all of Europe — but would slash £3.30 off the average cost of a 55-litre tank.

Filling up a family car now costs £91.86 for petrol and £98.43 for diesel.

Campaigning MP, Tory Robert Halfon, said yesterday: “I have genuinely never seen the hardship and fear from my constituents because of ever-rising prices.

“People are terrified, it’s literally unaffordable for millions of people.

“This is the single most important issue, domestically, facing our nation.”

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