This chart is for anyone harbouring illusions about the current UK fiscal position. It illustrates the cumulative deficit for the first five months of this year and compares it to 2007 and 2008.
Normally, the UK government expects to run up a surplus during the first half of the year. Revenues are normally higher than expenditures. During the second half, things turn around, such that by the end of the year, the government has run up a significant deficit. In 2007, the five month surplus was ₤7.5 billion, while in 2008, it was a little over ₤5 billion.
In 2009, the fiscal position is a nightmare. So far this year, the UK government has run up a deficit of ₤31 billion. That works about at a daily deficit of $223 million.