Britain's age of austerity is far from over
The UK’s public net debt will soon exceed 100pc of GDP for the first time since 1960. New Labour’s borrowing, the financial crisis and the pandemic have conspired to see that debt-to-GDP ratio near quadruple since 2000.
No wonder Rishi Sunak is nervous, telling the Conservative conference that we must “fix the public finances”. The problem the Chancellor faces is that our current debt outlook is unprecedented, with past experience of managing such high burdens providing little guidance for what might help this time.
Historically speaking, the UK’s accumulated debt-to-GDP ratio has certainly been higher than today. The Napoleonic Wars drove it to around 200pc of GDP. The Second World War pushed it to just over 250pc of GDP by 1946. Debt then fell substantially over the following decades in …
More on: www.telegraph.co.uk