So it’s £2.2 trillion in debt and still counting

The Office of National Statistics tells us today that we can add £1 to £1.5 trillion to the £700 billion national debt to allow for the banks coming into the public sector. That makes our national debt up to a collosal 150% of National Income on the official figures. We could add some more for pensions liabilities and other off balance sheet items.

So after all those months of being told the UK has low public borrowing around 40% of National Income, at last the government’s own statistics office tries to make an honest institution of the government with these much larger figures. I am not going to argue today over over the odd trillion of understatement, now they are coming up with some more realistic figures. I just want to know why it has taken so long,and why we had to put up with all those denials when I tried to set out the true figures in the Commons and elsewhere.

This entry was posted in Blog. Bookmark the permalink. Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed.

11 Comments

  1. Adrian Peirson
    Posted February 19, 2009 at 5:10 pm | Permalink

    It doesn’t matter what they say they are doing, the Nuclear button has already been pushed, believe it or not, we are in the Middle of a world war and the stakes are the future of humanity.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1fslr4ejodw

    • chris southern
      Posted February 19, 2009 at 7:15 pm | Permalink

      by doing a quick bit of research Adrian, the Dubai incident was in 2006.
      they are currently having a financial problem (like most countries, but not all) but the mass riots and protests are not happening.

  2. alan jutson
    Posted February 19, 2009 at 5:36 pm | Permalink

    So no surprises there then, it was worse than we all thought (my comment yesterday that it always is).

    But bet your life someone will say different and its all under control.

    What an absolute bloody disgrace.

  3. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted February 19, 2009 at 7:25 pm | Permalink

    In my opinion Brown is no different to Madoff and Stanford. Just how is he allowed to stay in office? The public is angry and wants change. Are the Conservatives ready and do you want to take over this mess? If so call a vote of no confidence in Brown and his rotten government – we can’t allow him to continue for a day longer.

    Reply: We would lose a No confidence vote by a big margin and unite the Labour party. Remember they have a three figuremajority over the Conservatives.

    • Brian Tomkinson
      Posted February 20, 2009 at 1:57 pm | Permalink

      We need a voice to speak out and demand that Brown must go now before the damage gets even worse. If I were in opposition I would be desperate to take office. The fact that your party seems so ambivalent speaks volumes and in the meantime I hope you are noticing the massive swings to the BNP in local elections.

  4. rugfish
    Posted February 20, 2009 at 8:06 am | Permalink

    The Government has its sums wrong on tax revenues and hasn’t seen a drop in personal and corporation tax coming despite businesses are closing, and unemployment has risen dramatically these last few months. The next tax bubble to burst will be the April VAT receipts which were deferred, as businesses find a lack of cash flow coupled with lower demand for goods and services will make this catch up payment very difficult, not least because many will have gone into liquidation in order to avoid the payment altogether. I warned of this exact situation at the time the government took measures to defer and reduce VAT, so it’s pretty unbelievable that “a government” could in any way be said to not see it coming. In fact Gordon and Alistair have acted in total contrast to what any person could call responsible here as clearly giving £12.5 billion away with a VAT reduction was anything but responsible and it made no economic sense at all. Further, as I pointed out at the time in November, Russia had increased its available funding for businesses in OCTOBER 2008, through the measures it already had in place and was able to stem the foreclosure of many Russian businesses unlike our Prime Minister who sat on his hands and is still chirping on about being strong on banks to get them to lend to business.

    Why did he not simply give personal and corporate tax rebates amounting to the £12.5 billion, which he KNEW would be lost, and try to avoid the closures and job losses which led to the now ‘sudden’ loss of tax revenues which were so evidently going to occur ?

    I mean, what’s the point of crying about it now when he knew several months ago that he’d be ‘wasting’ £12.5 billion which ‘could’ have been put directly into the pockets of consumers and businesses in order to help them?

    His song of “It’s a Global Crisis” is more than a little alarming, it’s DANGEROUSLY IRRESPONSIBLE and very pathetic for a Prime Minister and ex-chancellor of the UK exchequer!

  5. Stuart Fairney
    Posted February 20, 2009 at 8:28 am | Permalink

    £2.2 Trillion debt (not including pensions, PFI etc), say 30 million meaningful* tax payers equals £73,000 debt each. Surely bankruptcy beckons?

    * I use meaningful in the sense of moderate to substantial net contributors, not low earners who pay little but receive some tax credits back and so have a nominal net effect

    If a country goes bust, by not meeting its debts and the IMF can’t/won’t help, does that mean a new currency is introduced as is effectively the case in Zimbabwe now? Is the old one so much junk like the Weimar Republic?

    I ask the question because several Zimbabwean friends tell me that no-one deals in Zim dollars anymore, its foreign currency only, like Cuba was (and may still be) some years ago.

  6. Neil Craig
    Posted February 20, 2009 at 10:40 am | Permalink

    By comparison GNP is about £1.4 trillion so that is well over 100% of a years GNP owed.

  7. Colin Nugent
    Posted February 20, 2009 at 1:23 pm | Permalink

    What a pity we have to wait until 2010 to get rid of the gruesome 2 some or pinky and perky as I call Brown and Darling. We are on the way to becoming the first G7 country to default on it’s debts, behaviour that used to be the preserve of certain Latin American banana republics. Any responsible politician would have resigned rather than pose as the world’s Saviour. What a fiasco!

  8. Ted Waller
    Posted February 20, 2009 at 4:51 pm | Permalink

    I am a pensioner with young grand children and a substantial pot of savings. If they intend to repay the UK’s debts, the Government will have mortgaged the future of my children and grandchildren. It seems less morally reprehensible for our, self described, “moral” leader to abrogate the UK Gov’t’s debts and make the generation that got us into the mess pay the price. But, if they do this, the £ will crash taking my savings with it. I am not waiting for this crash. I am selling all savings and converting all to €s, thus worsening the £ by the tiny amount that I matter. Surely most savers will be forced to so convert before their holdings are frozen. How many do you think will take this course?

  9. Credit Company
    Posted March 20, 2009 at 3:07 am | Permalink

    Well said, finally a good report on this stuff

  • About John Redwood


    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

  • John’s Books

  • Email Alerts

    You can sign up to receive John's blog posts by e-mail by entering your e-mail address in the box below.

    Enter your email address:

    Delivered by FeedBurner

    The e-mail service is powered by Google's FeedBurner service. Your information is not shared.

  • Map of Visitors

    Locations of visitors to this page