The National Debt – Something to be concerned about?

With all the massive amounts of spending/borrowing by our Conservative government, which has been forced to adopt Keynesian economics because of the pandemic, what are we going to do about paying it all back?

Clearly the right/centre right and even some of the left of UK politics will favour more austerity and lower taxes whereas the left generally will favour less or no austerity and higher taxes. We think like that because that’s what we’ve been told our options are. But are these black and white options really the only way forward to address the situation? Yes, I realise that some will say just kick the can down the road and let future generations pay it off; the ultimate act of selfishness you could call it? Now don’t shout at me, just have a look at the link below to a video on the BBC website entitled ‘Why we need to debunk the deficit myth’. I know, I know, it’s produced in US terms but the concept is pretty much the same in any sovereign country:-

www.bbc.com/reel/video/p08jbbry/why-we-need-to-debunk-the-deficit-myth-?ocid=ww.social.link.twitter

Have your views changed? Are you better informed? Or are you stubbornly staying in your tribal left or right tent unwilling to see a different perspective?

My thanks to Stephen Hesketh for the lead to this posting

Left & Right Unite to put skids under May’s Government

www.theguardian.com/business/2017/jul/13/tories-obr-debt-recession-brexit-uk

www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/07/12/theresa-mays-government-could-come-apart-like-chocolate-orange/

The links above take you to the the left leaning Guardian and the right wing Telegraph newspaper web sites.

Whilst the stories in themselves are not linked they both illustrate the precarious nature of Teresa May’s weak and wobbly government and the threat that we all face from a hard Brexit (supported by opposition Labour as well of course) and that huge deficit that the UK is carrying around on its back.

Add into that the inevitability of another recession within the next 5 years and frankly it could depress the most optimistic of us.

Going for Brexit in financially good times would be a huge challenge but going down that route in the mess that the UK’s finances are presently in is surely complete madness.

My thanks to Roy Connell & Keith Page for the leads to this posting

Blood on our streets? Well some senior Tories seem to think it quite possible

www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/feb/19/why-some-tories-fear-blood-on-the-streets

The Guardian has the story on its web site – see link above

Well this is a sobering article indeed but frankly it’s not so far away from what I have been thinking.

No Government can survive for ever a sustained attack on the living standards of its people and that’s what the Tories are creating and indeed deepening.

Brexit, especially a Hard Brexit would be a hugely challenging agenda if we were at the top of a the economic cycle, with low debt (personal and public/national), good public services and wages at a decent level. Trouble is we have have none of these advantages so Brexit, with its huge costs to the public purse and our personal finances, should not even be being contemplated by all but the seriously deluded for a very long time indeed – or never in my book.

Why you can see Downing Street saying ‘we must deliver Brexit come what may; its the will of the people’. Well no its not actually as those that voted for it, or at least the vast majority of them, had no idea what damage it would cause to the UK and their own livelihoods.

The bottom line is that even if we ignore the huge black hole of Brexit we are in a horrible economic place with little chance of an improvement without a good following wind. The economic collapse of 2007 exposed very serious fault lines in the UK yet years of austerity have not really scratched the surface.

To me the obvious reaction a to all this is scrap Brexit, scrap renewal of Trident, accept that taxes have to rise particularly for high earners and hope for an economic miracle. If all that happens then we may just about get our noses above the water line.

And we thought that Greece and Ireland were in deep economic trouble!

With thanks to Roy Connell for the lead to this posting.

The black hole in the UK public finances – Better have a stiff drink before reading this!

www.theguardian.com/business/2017/feb/07/ifs-warns-steep-cuts-tax-rises-40bn-black-hole-uk

The Guardian has the story on its web site – See link above

Now if you are already concerned about the state of our economy this will confirm why your blood pressure is high. If you have not considered this before you had better sit down with a stiff drink before reading!

Mind the gap! The job is only half done, so there is fiscal pain ahead

www.independent.co.uk/news/business/comment/hamish-mcrae/mind-the-gap-the-job-is-only-half-done-so-there-is-fiscal-pain-ahead-9833495.html

Hamish McRae in the Independent tells the story – see link above – that our political leaders are too frightened tom tell us.

This and climate change are our biggest challenges – Don’t get side tracked into issues that are nowhere is big as these.