Wednesday, 22 October 2008

Just what is the UK's debt burden?

Fraser Nelson - amongst others - has pointed out some of the, ahem, allegedly dodgy accounting tricks employed by Gordon Brown and co to understate the level of UK Government debt relative to GDP.

The new 'series' is called 'National Debt excluding Northern Rock'. Quite what has happened to Bradford & Bingley, and what will happen with the latest acquisitions of shareholdings in the 'commanding heights' of the financial part of the economy, well, we can't be sure - 'Ratio of UK debt to GDP, excluding Government liabilities relating to banks, PFI, public sector pensions, Equitable Life, etc., etc.' perhaps?

In honour of the obviously honourable purpose of this new statistical 'series' - to show the true level of UK Government debt to GDP - the Bishop has resolved to create a new measure. I proudly present:

'The ratio of UK Government Debt to GDP if the UK had never suffered from Labour fuck-ups'

First, GDP without Labour fuck-ups:

- The UK wouldn't have wasted its Marshall Aid on building an unsustainable welfare state; instead, it would have rebuilt its industries, as the French and Germans did.
- No nationalisations of steel, coal, etc.
- No NHS
- No idiot Tony Benn in the Cabinet - fewer subsidies to BAe, etc.
- No commies in the Wilson government
- The Tories wouldn't have become socialists in the 40s-70s
- The miners' strike in the 70s would have been more like the one in the 80s
- The Trade Unions would have been told to fuck off earlier
- Taxes would have always been significantly lower
- Ken Clarke's spending plans would not have been followed by a splurge of public spending that mortgaged the future
- Etc.

UK GDP per capita, in short, would be closer to that of the top countries in the world.

Next, debt without Labour fuck-ups.

- No 'Chav' class of benefit-claiming, workshy scum: welfare would be confined to the genuinely needy - and would be generous to the disabled, etc.
- No costs of nationalising industries. But equally, no revenues from privatisation. Generously, let's say no cost for the utilities. But huge costs from support for coal, steel, shipyards, Leyland, etc.
- No need to go the IMF in the 1970s
- No need to spend North Sea oil revenues on restructuring the UK economy in the 1980s - so would have had huge surpluses, perhaps put into UK Sovereign Wealth Fund
- The Tories had concluded by 1997 that PFI didn't work - no mortgaging of the future from waste of money PFI schemes that cost, rather than save money
- No tax on pensions in 1997: not so much would rest on public pensions
- Public sector surplus from Ken Clarke policies would have been used to pay off all UK debt, and spending would have been matched to revenues
- No chickening out on the renegotiation of the Civil Service Pension Scheme in the last 10 years, hence public sector pensions would be more sustainable

So UK would have had no net debt going into the current recession. Hence zero debt / GDP. And with our US+ levels of wealth, half of the population would hardly be thinking of emigrating...

Clearly, this is re-writing history, and so is fictional... But hardly any more so than Gordon's latest debt 'series'. But there is a clear lesson:

Everyone who has ever voted Labour should be disqualified from voting, at least until they've paid off their 'fair' share (national debt / labour voters)...

Do you think Polly's villa in Tuscany will cover it?

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