March 17, 2020 / 10:13 AM / 22 days ago

UK faces wartime budget situation, not time to be squeamish about debt: OBR

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain is facing a wartime scenario for its public finances as it seeks to offset the coronavirus hit to companies through higher public spending and borrowing, the country’s independent budget office said on Tuesday.

Robert Chote, head of the Office for Budget Responsibility, told lawmakers that Britain’s budget deficit hit 20% of economic output during World War Two and he said now was not the time for the government to be squeamish about higher debt.

British finance minister Rishi Sunak is expected to announce new measures to help the economy later on Tuesday.

Reporting by David Milliken; Writing by William Schomberg; editing by Guy Faulconbridge

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