Joined: 25 Jul 2005
Location: St. Pauls, Bristol, England
|Posted: Wed Aug 17, 2016 5:30 pm Post subject: Telegraph: real national debt £5 trillion more than admitted
|Officially the national debt
2010 £1.2tn = unofficially £4.8tn
2016 £1.7tn = unofficially £6.8tn
Government urged to reveal 'true' national debt of £4.8 trillion
The Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) has calculated that the national debt is £4.8 trillion once state and public sector pension liabilities are included, or £78,000 for every person in the UK.
By Philip Aldrick, Economics Editor7:33PM BST 20 Aug 2010
The IEA raised its concerns after the latest public finances data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) this week, which showed that the total debt, excluding bank bail-outs, is £816bn – itself a record high. However, the figures strip out the state's pension liabilities in a contravention of standard accounting practices.
Mark Littlewood, the IEA's director-general, said: "The latest official national debt figure is seriously misleading. Looming in the background are pension liabilities. These should be moved to the forefront.
"The ONS should include these liabilities in their calculations. It is shocking enough to see official figures revealing a jump in national debt over the last year from the equivalent of 48pc of GDP to 56pc, but the grave reality is that our real national debt stands at 333pc of GDP."
Nick Silver, an IEA research fellow, said the full figure, including the £1.2 trillion public sector pension liability and £2.7 trillion state pension liability, should be published either monthly or annually alongside the net debt data for reasons of transparency.
The ONS has already begun to assemble the data, publishing the full list of Britain's debts and liabilities for the first time in July, which came to a total of between £3.68 trillion and £4.84 trillion.
Aileen Simkins, ONS director of operations on economic statistics, said the figures would be updated in September and that the ONS plans to compile and release them on an annual basis "to begin with".
"We are in no doubt that there is a bigger number that is also relevant to public data," she said. "We think it is important to have more transparency on public sector debt – looking at figures that go beyond standard monthly net debt and include state and public sector pensions."
The ONS numbers included a £1 trillion to £1.5 trillion liability for the Government's stakes in the part-nationalised banks, equivalent to the relevant portion of their total liabilities, £1.35 trillion for state pension liabilities, and £1.2 trillion for public sector pensions.
"The maintenance of secrets acts like a psychic poison which alienates the possessor from the community" Carl Jung