Tuesday, 13 March 2018

Hammond's Debt Spin

Chancellor Philip Hammond has just been talking a lot about debt falling in his Spring Statement, referring to the predictions from the Office for Budget Responsibility, saying: 'it forecasts a shrinking debt'.
As politicians are as slippery as a greased eel, you shouldn't take the Chancellor's words at face value because as usual he has spun the figures like a child's toy.
The figure for debt that he is using is the total amount the government owes divided by GDP, so his charts show debt falling from 85.6% to 77.9% and it's all rainbows and fairycakes and three cheers for the Conservatives.
Problem is, the real unspun figures show the nations debt rising from £1,783bn to £1,893bn so although it isn't technically wrong to say that debt as a proportion of GDP is expected to fall, the actual amount of debt has risen.
If you listening carefully the phrase 'debt as a proportion of GDP has fallen under this Government' will quickly change to debt has fallen under this Government' at which point we can politely point out that actually Phil, despite all your austerity cuts, the debt has risen by 1 hundred billion.
I'm sure he would appreciate the help because he seems a bit confused.

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