The UK government reports a January budget surplus

City of London's Bank of England

Despite "substantial spending" to assist households with energy bills and one-time payments to the EU, the UK government unexpectedly recorded a surplus in its finances in January.

The government had a £5.4bn surplus in the month of April because it spent less than it took in in taxes.

The UK's coffers were boosted by record-high self-assessed income tax receipts, which exceeded economists' forecasted borrowing of £7.8 billion.

The government is preparing to present its budget next month when the figures are released.

They reveal that, thus far in the fiscal year, public borrowing has fallen by £30.06 billion compared to estimates made by the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR), the government's official forecaster.

Chancellor Jeremy Hunt stated: "It is important that we stick to our plan to reduce debt over the medium term. We are rightfully spending billions to support households and businesses with the effects of rising prices.

"Reducing debt will require making some difficult decisions, but it is essential to do so in order to protect our public services.

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