Osborne said he was going to reduce deficit – and delivers biggest ever April borrowings

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As the Independent reports:

The Government's deficit reduction plans were dealt a blow today after official figures revealed that last month's borrowing figures were the highest ever recorded for the month of April.

Public borrowing, excluding financial interventions such as bank bail-outs, hit £10 billion, compared with £7.3 billion the previous year, said the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

The figure, which is higher than City expectations of £6.5 billion, will cast doubt on whether the Government can meet its target of bringing the deficit down to £122 billion this financial year.

The ONS said tax receipts fell year on year, which had been boosted to the tune of £3.5 billion a year earlier by the tax on bankers' bonuses.

I wonder if the ONS really think the bankers don't know that? Of course they did, and of course they included it in their estimates.  The result is that this is an outright disaster for George Osborne.

This man has staked his entire credibility on reducing the deficit, and he has delivered an  increase in borrowing.

This is not a one-off. This is the inevitable consequence of reducing demand, increasing unemployment, increasing benefit payments, reducing potential tax receipts and telling millions of people in this country that their services are not needed.

There is only one way out of a deficit when there is a shortage of demand in an economy. That is for the government to spend and to increase  its investment in  particular.  So right now the government should be building infrastructure, it should be improving our flood defences, it should be building  alternative energy systems, it should be improving our railways, it should be building hospitals by borrowing, it should be ensuring that every house in this country is thermally efficient, it should be building social housing, it should be investing in the skills we need the next generation to have.

It's not doing any of those things. The result will be continuing stagnation, and increasing the deficit,  and that is the exact opposite of what it said it would do.

If that is not a measure of economic incompetence, it's hard to suggest what is.