The UK's deficit is one of the highest in the developed world.
The UK's deficit is one of the highest among developed countries in the OECD, although it's difficult to get comparable figures that are all up-to-date for different countries.
"The deficit is less than half what it was, but at just under 5% it is still one of the highest in the developed world"—George Osborne, Chancellor of the Exchequer, 20 May 2015
Latest figures forecast the UK to have a budget deficit of 3.7% of its GDP by 2015/16, down from 4.9% in 2014/15. The UK's deficit is one of the highest among developed countries in the OECD, although it's difficult to get comparable figures that are all up-to-date for different countries.
The deficit measures how much the government is borrowing—to find out more see our guide to the deficit.
Most countries' budgets are in deficit, according to the International Monetary Fund which collates deficit statistics from around the world by calendar year. The UK ranks as the country with the 2nd highest deficit within the 34 OECD countries, but is forecast to fall down the league table in the coming years.
However, the countries' figures aren't completely comparable and out-of-date UK data is used within the dataset. The reference points differ—some countries most recent data is as of 2013 and some is of 2014.
Financial forecasts can also change at short notice, as we saw with the UK's recent Summer Budget when pre-Budget and post-Budget forecasts show the deficit moving into surplus one year later than previously projected.
We need facts more than ever.
Right now, it’s difficult to know what or who to trust. Misinformation is spreading. Politics and the media are being pushed to the limit by advancements in technology and uncertainty about the future. We need facts more than ever.
This is where you come in. Your donation is vital for our small, independent team to keep going, at the time when it’s needed most. With your help, we can keep factchecking and demanding better from our politicians and public figures.We can give more people the tools to decide for themselves what to believe. We can intervene more effectively where false claims cause most harm.
Become a donor today and stand up for better public debate, on all sides, across the UK.