Philip Hammond has announced that the debt to GDP ratio will rise to an “eye-watering” 90.2% in 2017-18, a seven point increase on previous forecasts, the highest debt level in half a century. National debt by the end of parliament will be £1.945 trillion.
The Tory manifesto promise of a surplus in 2019/20 has been abandoned, they are now seeking to balance the books by an undisclosed date in the next parliament.
Borrowing forecasts for 2016-17 have soared to £68 billion, up £13 billion from the previous forecast in March. Borrowing will be £59 billion in 2017/18, £21 billion more than forecast. In 2018-19 the government will borrow £46.5 billion, a massive 117% increase from the £21.4 billion forecast in March. Hammond plans to borrow £118 billion more this parliament.
In 2008 George Osborne told the Commons:
“What [Brown/Darling] did not admit is that he is going to double the national debt to £1 trillion, and that a national debt that has accumulated over centuries is gonna double in just five years. That is the bill for Labour’s decade of irresponsibility.”
Labour under Corbyn and McDonnell theoretically want to balance the books by 2020, a tougher deficit reduction plan than May and Hammond. This is the Tories’ decade of irresponsibility…