The election messages continue to dance around reality. I did arithmetic at primary school, but did the politicians?
Here’s my maths. The government spends £400 for every £300 it receives, spending half our national income. If the country earned £800 per annum, the government spends £400, of which £100 is borrowed. Total government debt would be £500, rising by £100 per annum. This is less than six years away from going down the pan like Greece.
If we protect health, the government would have to cut a third of all spending to balance the books. That is an unimaginable level of cuts implying public sector pay falling by a third, which in turn would depress GDP severely making things even more difficult.
If GDP grows, it will be better. But we live in an uncertain world, with huge financial risks still lurking all around. Still all of the talk is about additional spending and what will be protected.
We have a financial crisis worse than anything seen in our lifetimes. Why are the politicians playing dumb and not getting totally real with the electorate. Maybe we still don’t want to hear?
Chris Barling, SellerDeck
I’m infuriated by the election campaign. When things were booming, the Government poured more petrol on the fire, preventing any correction and encouraging the whole population to binge on debt. Then times turned bad, so they borrowed even more. Spending has to reduce because we’re spending more than we’re earning. We understand that on a personal and business basis so why not on a national one?
In business we know that delay makes things worse. Every day of piling on more debt steals from the future. Japan blazed the trail we’re following and got 20 years of stagnation with still no end in sight. And the Government is running on a record of being a safe pair of hands! Yeah, right.
The opposition isn’t getting the point across, because they think we don’t want to hear bad news. They are too scared to say that public sector jobs and benefits will have to be cut.
Sometimes the future of the country should be put before immediate electoral gain. And sometimes a gutsy and principled stand is rewarded. But we aren’t really engaging with the issue and the political commentators aren’t making much of it either. Maybe I’ll take a holiday in Greece this summer. It will be nice and familiar.
Do you agree with Chris? What do you think about politicians’ promises and their handling of national debt? Leave your comment below.