UK national debt has hit £1 Trillion for the first time.
According to official figures released by the Office for National Statistics on Tuesday 24, the total public sector net debt (excluding the impact of the 2008 banking bailouts)) rose to £1.004tn in December 2011.
This represented a 14% rise on the same time a year ago when Government debt was £883bn. This is the highest since records began in 1993. Incredibly, it’s the equivalent to 64.2% of Gross Domestic Product - up from 59.4% a year ago. (GDP refers to the market value of all final goods and services produced within a country in a given period).
But what does this mean to ordinary British working families? Well, to put it bluntly, we’re all shafted. We’ll be paying off this debt for years and years to come.
In laymans terms – and according to the web-site of the UK Debt Bombshell (1) - this debt equates to three things:
i) We owe £16,055 for every man, woman and child,
ii) That's more than £35,080 for every person in employment
iii) Every household will pay £2,108 this year, just to cover the interest.
With these startling figures in mind, Solidarity Trade Union advocates that the government takes an in-depth look at the whole banking system. We need to see what’s wrong with it – why are we drowning in an ever increasing sea of debt? (We also need to ask serious questions of the whole capitalist system. For instance, why do we continually have an economic cycle of ‘boom’ and ‘bust’?)
However, as we’ve pointed out before (2), we feel that “what is needed is a fairer banking system. The banks should be run as a service and not a money making exercise. Also they shouldn’t be allowed to charge interest on loans (usury).”