Money (10)

The UK government borrowed £7.5 billion in December, down £4.3bn from December 2014, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

The latest monthly figures mean the government has now borrowed £74.2bn in the financial year so far, an £11bn reduction on the same period last year.

However, the Treasury has missed its borrowing targets for the 2015-16 financial year, with four months still remaining. The £68.9bn target was nearly hit as early as November, when borrowing for the year reached £66.9bn. Following the publication of November's figures, the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) said things looked worse than they really were due to £1.1bn in bank fines and the timing of payments from the Department for International Development to the World Bank.

The latest round of borrowing also took the UK's national debt to £1.542 trillion, an increase of £53.2 billion from December 2014 - 81% of GDP.