Thursday, 19 November 2009

Our record debt

I'd like to start by saying "Hi" to all the people who came here yesterday after being linked by Tory Bear.

Anyway, another month another story about record debt.

£11.42Bn this time. This is apparently the highest since records began (The phrase "No shit?" rapidly comes to mind).

Well, I for one am starting to get a little bemused by the sheer scale of these figures that are bandied around with alarming regularity. Let's have a look and see how big £11.42Bn really is.

This equates to £370 million pounds every day, or over £4000 every second. Yes, that's right. Every six seconds the country is more in debt to the tune of the Median UK salary. Hell, every 46 seconds we take out enough debt to pay for Gordon Brown for a year.

£11.42Bn could buy us at today's prices 473 tonnes of gold (approx 20% of the total global gold production last year)
We could buy near 240 million barrels of oil, or roughly 20 days worth of the entire Saudi Oil production.

Stocks and Shares
We could buy over a third of Tesco, or a controlling share in Unilever. Or the whole of Cadbury, BT or Rolls-Royce (and probably still have plenty of change left over to through a decent party).

Military Hardware
Well, it's one of my standard measures, so I'd best include it. £11.42Bn could buy us about 100 Chinook helicopters. It'd pay for a fleet of about 4 fully fitted out aircraft carriers. We could buy about ten Astute submarines.

With the current average house price, we could buy 57,100 of these, or enough to give one house to every two people in Cambridge.

Previous UK Debts
Just as a point of comparison, the debt in October 2008 was £130m. That was too much then, going up by nearly two orders of magnitude is utter insanity.
The amount we had to go cap-in-hand to the IMF for was £2.9Bn (in 1976 money). Now, unless my inflation estimates are way off, that's about £17Bn in current money.
Yes, that's right. Over the last two months Labour has borrowed much more money than we had to beg for last time they were in power.

Now here's a statement that you might find useful. Next year, when you're standing in the polling booth, every second that you spend making up your mind about where to put your cross, this government spends another £4000 of money the country doesn't have.

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