LABOUR has seized on higher borrowing figures, saying they are a clear sign the UK Government's economic policy had backfired and was "choking off the recovery".

In November, the Coalition had to borrow more than expected, some £17.5 billion, £1.2bn higher than a year earlier. Economists had forecast borrowing would fall to around £16bn. Last month's figure takes total borrowing so far this financial year to £92.7bn, £8.3bn more than the same period in 2011. The Office for National Statistics also revised down its estimate for growth between July and September to 0.9% from 1%.

Rachel Reeves, Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury, said: "For all the Chancellor's smoke and mirrors in the autumn statement, these figures show that borrowing is rising."

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However, Danny Alexander, Chief Secretary to the Treasury, insisted the figures showed how Britain continued to be on a hard road back to economic prosperity.