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£7.8bn surplus boost for Osborne

Hopes the Government will hit this year's borrowing forecasts were boosted after figures revealed it enjoyed its highest surplus for four years in January.

The Office for National Statistics said the Government recorded a net surplus of £7.8bn, up £2.5bn on 2011 and its biggest figure since January 2008.

In a further boost to Chancellor George Osborne, net borrowing in the previous nine months of the year was revised down by £2.1bn to £93.5bn after local Government spending was lower than previously thought.

The figures will boost hopes the Government will beat targets to reduce its borrowing to £127bn this financial year.

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