UK's COVID borrowing not sustainable, will need to balance finances - Sunak

FILE PHOTO: Britain's Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak looks on during the weekly question-time debate at the House of Commons in London, Britain, November 4, 2020. UK Parliament/Jessica Taylor/Handout via REUTERS

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain’s finance minister Rishi Sunak said borrowing needed to fund economic support through the COVID pandemic was not sustainable in the long term after he announced the extension of the government’s furlough scheme.

“We are paying for this through extensive borrowing,” Sunak told lawmakers on Thursday. “We are also carrying a significant ongoing borrowing requirement (...) now that is not a sustainable situation.

“So as we continue to recover and grow, we will have to make sure that we reduce our structural deficit over time in line with the recommendations from the IMF.”

He added that forecasts from the independent OBR would make the costs of the action clear and help inform how it could be paid.

Reporting by William James and Paul Sandle