Headline public borrowing rose to £14.2 billion in November, well above analysts’ forecasts and casting doubt on Chancellor George Osborne’s plan for cutting the budget deficit.

The figure was 10 percent higher than in the same month last year, a sudden increase on the first eight months of the year where public borrowing was 8.9 percent lower.

Figures for household debt are also looking worrying and are expected to rise to £40 billion this year, with unsustainable borrowing currently on a par with the levels reached before the 2008 global financial crisis.

The former business secretary Sir Vince Cable told the Independent that Britain may be returning to “old and unhappily discredited” methods of economic growth:

“We’re back on the treadmill of growth being sustained by personal borrowing. Much of it is against an inflating housing stock.”

Osborne’s is aiming to turn the UK’s budget deficit into a surplus by the end of this decade, through continued austerity measures and budget cuts.

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