At Budget time in March 2017 The UK National Debt was estimated to be £1.73 trillion.
In 2005 the UK National Debt was less that £0.5 trillion. But then came the worldwide financial crisis of 2008 and subsequent recession. The National Debt increased rapidly and went over £1 trillion in 2011. At the end of the 2015-16 fiscal year, the National Debt went over £1.5 trillion.
In terms of Gross Domestic Product the UK National Debt in 2005 was about 38 percent of GDP, in the wake of the Crash of 2008 and subsequent recession, the National has doubled to over 80 percent GDP
Despite the lying propaganda put out by the Conservative party and their media hacks, the crisis was not caused by the Labour Government. It was caused by the profligate greed of their cronies in the Financial sector, and it was widespread around the world – especially in America under the right-wing Bush administration.
It is true that the controls put in place by the Labour Government were not stringent enough. But the Conservatives opposed them, and every attempt at regulation, calling it ‘Red Tape’ and ‘Bureaucracy’ which would damage the sector.
It was Labour who stepped in to secure people’s savings by rescuing the banks – and who persuaded other countries around the world to do the same. Without this action we would have faced the nightmare of tens of thousands losing their life savings and a recession on the scale of that which followed the 1929 crash.
In the run-up to the 2010 election Labour produced costed plans to clear the debt over two parliaments – ten years. The Tories claimed that this would be a disaster and that it had to be dealt with much faster. They claimed that their plans would eliminate the debt by 2015. In fact, in his first budget, George Osborne predicted a surplus in 2014-2015.
To do this they embarked on an unprecedented period of austerity in which public services were cut and wages were frozen or limited to below-inflation rises – effectively pay cuts for most of the population. Meanwhile, their cronies at the top were awarding themselves huge pay rises while the government kept parroting the untrue mantra that “we’re all in it together”.
They were warned that the swingeing cuts would deepen the recession and harm the recovery. They wouldn’t listen – why should they? They and their cronies didn’t suffer. By December 2013 the date of the surplus had been pushed back to 2017-2018.
Even that now looks unlikely, and they have the audacity to claim that Labour can’t be trusted with the economy!