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The UK's deficit widened to £8.99bn in February, a record level for the month, official data has shown.
This was eight times the figure seen a year earlier, as tax receipts fell 10% causing the government to borrow more.
As unemployment has risen and firms have seen profits fall this has hit the money government collects in taxes.
The cumulative deficit for the fiscal year is £75.2bn, increasing the chance that government borrowing for the year will exceed its own £77bn forecast.
Last month the Office for National Statistics (ONS), which publishes the borrowing figures, said the debts of Royal Bank of Scotland and Lloyds Banking Group would be included in the public finances since the government took stakes in the firms.
This could add between £1tn and £1.5tn to public sector debt.
"UK manufacturing activity has not so much fallen off a cliff, but off Mount Everest," said Howard Archer, chief UK and European economist at IHS Global Insight.