By Daniel Hunter

Figures released today (Tuesday) by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) have shown that the government received more money than it spent in January leaving it with its highest monthly surplus in four years.

According to the ONS the surplus followed a fall in local government borrowing and a rise in tax receipts.

Key points

- a current budget surplus excluding the temporary effects of financial interventions of £11.8 billion in January 2012

- net borrowing excluding the temporary effects of financial interventions of -£7.8 billion in January 2012

- net debt excluding the temporary effects of financial interventions was £988.7 billion, equivalent to 63.0 per cent of GDP

January's finances are often in surplus because of a spike in tax receipts.

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