British finance minister Rishi Sunak has told other government ministers that the country needs to face up to the very high borrowing that has been needed during the Covid pandemic, a spokesman for the prime minister said.
Sunak spoke with Prime Minister Boris Johnson and other ministers on Wednesday ahead of his budget statement to parliament, due around 1230 GMT.
"The Chancellor said we must be honest with ourselves and the country about what that has meant. We are borrowing on an extraordinary scale - equivalent only to wartime levels," a spokesman for Johnson said.
"He said that, as a Conservative Government, we know that we cannot ignore this problem and it wouldn't be right or responsible to do so," the spokesman added.