Government borrowing rocketed by £34.1 billion last month, bringing the country’s debt to a new all-time high.
Official figures show public sector bodies borrowed £2.5 billion more in December than they had a month earlier, and £28.2 billion more than the same period last year, a nearly six-fold increase.
November had been the third-highest month for Government borrowing since records began in 1993, according to Office for National Statistics (ONS) data. But this has now been overtaken by December's amount, the ONS reported.
It means that the public sector has now borrowed £270.8 billion since the beginning of the financial year in April - £212.7 billion more than in the same period a year earlier.
Even in the financial year starting 2009, in the wake of the economic crash, borrowing only hit £158 billion.
Public sector debt now keeps reaching new record levels as Covid-19 forces the Government to borrow more. By the end of December it had once again set an all-time record at £2.13 trillion.
It means that debt is now a staggering 99.4 per cent the size of gross domestic product (GDP), which measures the value of all goods and services produced in the UK. This level had not previously been reached since 1962, the ONS said.
The Office for Budget responsibility has said it expects the public sector might borrow as much as £393.5 billion before the end of the financial year, just over two months from now, which is the highest amount in any year since the Second World War.
The money has been used to prop up parts of the economy, funnelling more than £46 billion to cover salaries as part of the furlough scheme, and guaranteeing tens of billions of pounds in loans to businesses.