Provisional estimates show that for the financial year 2004/05 the UK recorded a government deficit of £36.7 billion, which was equivalent to 3.1 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP). This exceeded the reference value in the Maastricht Treaty's Excessive Deficit Procedure, which sets deficit and debt targets of 3 per cent and 60 per cent respectively for all EU countries.
At the end of 2004/05 general government debt was £480.3 billion, equivalent to 40.8 per cent of GDP. It remains substantially within the reference value for excessive debt.
These data were reported to the European Commission at the end of August 2005.
The data on Government deficit and debt under the Maastricht Treaty are calculated according to the ONS's interpretation of the 1995 European System of Accounts (ESA95) and a United Nations Statistical Commission decision on the treatment of government receipts to allow use of the spectrum by third-generation mobile phone companies. ONS also publishes a separate deficit figure consistent with a Eurostat decision which treats these receipts differently.