The UK public deficit increased to \u00a311.6 billion in August 2014 compared to \u00a311 billion in August 2013, the Office of National Statistics informed on Tuesday, showing that the strong economic rebound is not reflected in the country\u2019s public finances.\r\n\r\nA small increase in tax receipts was more than offset by higher investment, interest payments and spending.\r\n\r\nAll independent forecasts point to a UK GDP expansion for 2014 of at least 3%. The UK Treasury says its compilation of a range of studies puts economic expansion at 3.1% for the year.\r\n\r\nHowever, wages have not kept up with inflation, which itself is very low, partly explaining weak growth in income tax receipts.\r\n\r\nDespite record employment numbers, income tax and national insurance receipts rose by just 1.6% year-on-year in August.\r\n\r\nWith pay increasing each year at about half the rate of inflation, British workers\u2019 living standards have declined, despite impressive GDP growth. In next year\u2019s general elections, the opposition Labour party will probably exploit this failing during their campaign.\r\n\r\nFiscal target will be hard to meet\r\n\r\nWith weak tax receipts, George Osborne, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, will find it hard to meet his fiscal targets for the year.\r\n\r\nNot all tax receipts have been weak. Government income from corporate tax year-on-year rose 17%, while stamp duty (tax on house sales) income jumped 24%.\r\n\r\nThe UK independent fiscal watchdog \u2013 the Office for Budget Responsibility \u2013 had forecast that the treasury would borrow \u00a386.6 billion this fiscal year (ending in March 2015). However, according to figures published by the Office for National Statistics, more than half of that amount (\u00a345.4 billion) had already been borrowed by the end of August, just five months into the fiscal year.\r\n\r\nPublic sector net borrowing from April to August this year was \u00a32.6 billion higher than in the same period last year.\r\n\r\nThe UK\u2019s *national debt is \u00a31.3 trillion, which is approximately 77% of GDP. In the last financial year the budget deficit was 5.9% of GDP. At the peak of the financial crisis the budget deficit hit 11% of GDP.\r\n\r\n* A country's national debt is how much its government and local authorities owe\u00a0their citizens and foreign creditors.\r\n\r\nGovernments tend to spend more in the year leading up to a general election. Mr. Osborne is going to find that very hard to do.\r\n\r\nMr. Osborne said in his March statement that the government aimed to reduce government borrowing by \u00a310 billion this fiscal year. That is definitely not going to happen.