Public sector borrowing slashed through Royal Mail Pension Plan and BoE transfers
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The transfer of the Royal Mail Pension Plan and transfers from the Bank of England Asset Purchase Facility Fund slashed public sector borrowing in May 2013, according to official statistics.


Data from the Office for National Statistics shows public sector net borrowing, excluding temporary effects of financial interventions, was

£85 billion in 2012-13, down from £118.5 billion in the previous year.


However, the figure changes substantially if transfers from the BoE Asset Purchase Facility Fund and the transfer of the Royal Mail Pension Plan are also excluded.


In that case, the total net level of public sector borrowing actually increased slightly year on year, to £118.8 billion, although the ONS points out that this is broadly similar to the previous year.


During May alone, even excluding the Royal Mail and BoE effects, public sector net borrowing was down to £12.7 billion from £15.6 billion in May 2012.


Including the BoE and Royal Mail effects, the picture is even healthier still, with May 2013 borrowing at just £8.8 billion, a reduction of almost £7 billion over the previous year.


Transfers from the BoE Asset Purchase Facility Fund cut almost £4 billion from public sector net borrowing in May 2013, with a further £3.2 billion coming from retrospective tax income from Swiss banks.


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