What is the Debt Clock?

To highlight the crushing size of the national debt, the TaxPayers' Alliance is launching a 1,300 mile tour of Britain - featuring a 7 metre long, lorry-mounted digital Debt clock, ticking up as the Government borrows more and more money. The campaign has a simple but direct message for the nation's politicians:

"Wake up to the National Debt!"

Crucially, the Debt Clock will tour around the whole country, stopping off at national landmarks and key cities to raise awareness of the national debt amongst the taxpayers who will one day have to pick up the bill for politicians' reckless borrowing.

Our custom-built clock is one metre high by seven metres long, and mounted on the back of a 14m lorry. Its 80cm (32 inch), 14-digit red LED display will count up the nation's debt at a breakneck speed:

  • £5,169 per second
  • £310,212 per minute
  • £18,607,306 per hour
  • £446,575,342 per day

What is the debt?

The national debt is the total amount of money the UK Government currently owes. This is different to the national deficit, which is the amount of money UK Government spends in excess of income. Each year we run a deficit, the national debt grows. Britain has been running a national deficit for the past 9 years.

It's not merely the huge scale of the national debt that is cause for concern, but also the rate at which it is increasing. Net borrowing this year alone will be £163 billion, and by 2014/15 the national debt is predicted to rise to £1.4 trillion.

To put this frightening rate of borrowing into context, the current rate of increase in the national debt would eat up:

  • the Mayor of London's annual budget in one month
  • yearly spending by the devolved Welsh Government in 35 days
  • the total cost of both Afghanistan and Iraq conflicts in just 40 days
  • the Bank of England's entire gold bullion reserves in just 7 weeks
  • yearly spending by the devolved Scottish Government in 78 days
  • the annual Defence budget in just 80 days

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