Dr Lee Rotherham is author of A Fate Worse Than Debt: A Beginner’s Guide to Britain’s National Debt from Boadicea to Cameron
In the coming days we will see where the Spending Review is taking us. You never know: it might even draw a few precise statistics from Labour on what extra sums they’d commit to borrowing.
I’m perpetually astonished by just how blazé Opposition politicians are about the state of public finances and just how bad the deficit actually is. Ed Balls’s comments denying the seriousness of Labour’s addiction to tax and credit, and with it any personal responsibility for where we are today, burn any credibility he might have as a potential Chancellor. It also suggests Normanton’s board gamers suffer a high attrition rate from dehydration. Monopoly games must go on for weeks with all the quantitative easing that’s endorsed by the banker.
But since it’s difficult to put those abstract billions into context, here’s a ten pointer of what the deficit and debt means when translated.