Sunak has little choice but delay plans to reduce budget deficit

Analysis: chancellor may feel uneasy but it would be a colossal gamble to move for immediate withdrawal of Covid support

It is hardly surprising that Rishi Sunak is uncomfortable about the amount of money the government is borrowing. No chancellor would be relaxed about presiding over a budget deficit that has already hit of the current financial year and is on course to hit £400bn – or about 20% of national output – by March.

There have been years when the UK has borrowed as much as it will in 2020-21, but only in wartime. In peacetime, what has happened since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic is unprecedented.