Real national debt over five times higher than latest ONS figures

Mark Littlewood comments on latest official figures

Responding to the latest borrowing figures from the ONS, Mark Littlewood, Director General of the Institute of Economic Affairs, expressed grave concern that these figures disguise the gravity of Britain’s financial situation.

He said:

“The latest official national debt figure of £845bn underestimates the true national debt figure by a factor of over five. Substantial pension liabilities are excluded from these official figures – they should be moved to the forefront. In reality, Britain finds itself saddled with a national debt of around £5 trillion.

“It is worrying enough to see official figures show a jump in national debt over the last year from the equivalent of 49% of GDP to over 57%, but the reality is that our real national debt stands at 333% of GDP.

“An aggressive approach to getting spending under control and the deficit eliminated must be the government’s top priority. The Comprehensive Spending Review went a small step towards doing that, but a huge leap is needed.”

To arrange an interview with Mark Littlewood, IEA Director General, please contact Ruth Porter, Communications Manager, 077 5171 7781, 020 7799 8900, rporter@iea.org.uk.

 

Notes to editors

In June this year the IEA published