Tax and Fiscal Policy

Britain’s actual debt stands at £4.8 trillion


Press Release

New research from the IEA looks at statutory regulation, private regulation and financial markets

Economic Theory

Prof Philip Booth comments on the Economic Freedom of the World: 2010 Annual Report

Mark Littlewood comments on the latest national debt figure
Responding to the latest borrowing figures from the ONS, Mark Littlewood, Director General of the Institute of Economic Affairs, expresses grave concern that these figures disguise the gravity of Britain’s financial situation. He said:

“The latest official national debt figure of £816bn is seriously misleading. Looming in the background are pension liabilities, these should be moved to the forefront. A more accurate picture of the situation shows that Britain finds itself saddled with a national debt of nearly £5 trillion.

“The ONS should include these liabilities in their calculations. It is shocking enough to see official figures revealing a jump in national debt over the last year from the equivalent of 48% of GDP to 56%, but the grave reality is that our real national debt stands at 333% of GDP.

“The budget deficit for last month may have been lower than expected, but this provides us with little comfort. A renewed and aggressive approach to getting spending under control and the deficit eliminated must be the government’s top priority.”

Notes to Editors

To arrange an interview with Mark Littlewood, IEA Director General, please contact Stephanie Lis, Communications Manager, 077 5171 7781, 020 7799 8900, [email protected].