http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/datablog ... ed-picture
It's not as simple as just this government, however. Obviously Brown selling our gold supplies didn't help, but what about before that? Costly wars abroad, Thatcher killing swathes of UK industry and so forth.
It all just added up, so when the bankers made one hell of a cock up, it hit us all.
Not really. The UK economy was not in deficit before the global financial crisis hit in 2008. Brown offloading some of the gold reserves had no connection to that whatsoever - on the contary, it brought cash into the exchequer, albeit not at the price that could later have been obtained for gold - but Brown was no psychic. The current deficit was entirely caused by the essential emergency measures (bank nationalisation, and so on) that Brown's government had to take to prevent the crisis becoming a full-blown depression (and which were followed by every other major world economy). There is no truth whatsoever in the Tory/Lib Dem lie that the deficit prevailing in 2010 and still with us now was due to Labour profligacy.
Are you sure on that one? The deficit was nearly £40 billion before the credit crunch even began. Which ever way you spin it that's criminal, it's basic economics to run a surplus in a boom time in preparation for the inevitable bust that follows. Brown went on an out of control spending binge during the good times and the facts back this up.
Been browsing these forums for a while and one thing that is striking is why no one seems to face up to this and admit that the last government made a series of disastrous mistakes. I've always been a labour voter but it doesn't do any harm to admit that the party that represents your values made some almighty cock-ups.
Hi Gorns. I think the best figures to look at are the debt as percentage of GDP. As Abernathy says, surpluses are very rare indeed. Look at Thatcher's record- she only did it in the unsustainable Lawson boom. You can still run a relatively small cash deficit and bring the deficit as a percentage of GDP down if GDP grows a lot more.
See here:http://www.ukpublicspending.co.uk/downc ... al&units=p
It shows that before the crisis the debt percentage was 5% down on that in 1997. You'll see John Major raised it from 26% to 40%, though to be fair, he copped the bust from the Lawson boom.
You also have to look at when the debt was due and how much it cost. Spain, even now, has a relatively modest debt as percentage of GDP. The problem is not just that they still have a deficit, but that their earlier debts are falling due soon.
Out of control spending? Not sure- there was a lot of catching up do. And in health, the Wanless Report called for much higher spending. Osborne, pre-crash, supported that.