The true National Debt figure !

  CurlyWhirly 06:54 13 Nov 2010

I had no idea that the National Debt was that big.

click here

£4.8 trillion not a £ trillion (although that would be bad enough)

Apparently if the £4.8 trillion of debt was stacked in £50 notes then it would reach 6,561 miles !

Check out the link from aprox 5.30 onwards.

p.s. also the bank bailout didn't really cause the recession as bailing out the banks 'only' cost an additional £73 billion which is pennies compared to the £4.8 trillion figure !

It's so easy for politicians to spend money that they don't have and they don't have to pay it back (although they do but not directly)

  Forum Editor 07:55 13 Nov 2010

that they don't have"

Well yes, but it's worth remembering that actually we're spending it. All this money is spent on the NHS, the roads, defence, education, the environment, and all the other myriad things that make the country what it is, the things that successive governments think we want to keep us happy.

We borrow money because what we pay into the treasury by way of taxation isn't enough to cover our outgoings. There's no great mystery to it, and it isn't a new thing - we've had a national debt since the beginning of the eighteenth century - in 1700 the country was in debt to the tune of £12 million, a huge sum for the time.

Then we borrowed more to finance out activities in the Napoleonic wars, and again in the first world war. Between 1914 and 1918 the national debt increased from around £600 million to about £7.2 billion. We were on our way to huge and permanent national debt, and then came the second world war.

By the time the war was over we were well and truly in the mire - the debt had climbed to over £24 billion, which was at that time 250% of our GDP.

Fighting other nations has contributed as much to our debt as anything else.

  CurlyWhirly 08:03 13 Nov 2010

Yes I see that the topic has already been covered.

I'll tick this one ;)

  CurlyWhirly 08:05 13 Nov 2010

Yes I agree that we are actually spending it but what I mean is that it's all too easy for politicians to say that they'll spend so much on this project and so much on that project because it's in their interest to be popular with the electorate in order to get voted in next time!

  CurlyWhirly 08:11 13 Nov 2010

oops what I meant to say was that the bank bailout didn't really cause the budget deficit.

  CurlyWhirly 08:13 13 Nov 2010

"Fighting other nations has contributed as much to our debt as anything else."

That's one of the reasons why I think that we shouldn't gone to war.

Obviously the main reason is the soldiers losing their lives :(

  Forum Editor 08:53 13 Nov 2010

It isn't going to be repaid in our lifetimes, or even in the lifetimes of our children. The best we can hope to do is pay down some of it, so our interest liabilities are decreased.

What we need to worry about right now is the deficit - the difference between what the treasury receives and what it pays out. If we can get that under control we will at least be treading water.

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