TaxPayers' Alliance response to latest GDP and public sector debt figures

January 25, 2011 10:29 AM

Reacting to the contraction found in the Office for National Statistics preliminary estimate of fourth quarter 2010 GDP growth, Matthew Sinclair, Director of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said:
"At this stage, with the impact of the snow so unclear and the figures subject to revision, the Office for National Statistics report of ‘flattish’ growth is highly uncertain.  It cannot reflect a serious verdict on spending cuts, which have hardly started and are vital to limit a mounting debt interest bill and produce a stable fiscal environment that can give investors confidence.  These figures are a powerful reminder though, of the need for a longer term strategy to encourage growth.  The Government need to do more to limit the burden they are imposing on families and businesses."

And reacting to the revision of the official public sector net debt to £2.3 trillion, he said:
"It has taken far too long, but it is good that the official national debt estimate is finally catching up with reality.  Too many governments around Europe are in huge trouble because they didn’t take the financial risks that come with bank bailouts seriously enough and it is better that we face up to the real scale of the government’s liabilities, not just trust that the assets will deliver and it will be okay.  The official debt estimate is still too low, and doesn’t include the huge liability we all face to pay for unfunded public sector pensions for example.  But even if you leave out the financial intervention and stick to the official figures, this announcement shows debt rapidly heading for a trillion pounds.  That is an eye-watering figure and an expensive legacy from a decade in which spending was allowed to run out of control, piling up debts for future generations."
Reacting to the contraction found in the Office for National Statistics preliminary estimate of fourth quarter 2010 GDP growth, Matthew Sinclair, Director of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said:
"At this stage, with the impact of the snow so unclear and the figures subject to revision, the Office for National Statistics report of ‘flattish’ growth is highly uncertain.  It cannot reflect a serious verdict on spending cuts, which have hardly started and are vital to limit a mounting debt interest bill and produce a stable fiscal environment that can give investors confidence.  These figures are a powerful reminder though, of the need for a longer term strategy to encourage growth.  The Government need to do more to limit the burden they are imposing on families and businesses."

And reacting to the revision of the official public sector net debt to £2.3 trillion, he said:
"It has taken far too long, but it is good that the official national debt estimate is finally catching up with reality.  Too many governments around Europe are in huge trouble because they didn’t take the financial risks that come with bank bailouts seriously enough and it is better that we face up to the real scale of the government’s liabilities, not just trust that the assets will deliver and it will be okay.  The official debt estimate is still too low, and doesn’t include the huge liability we all face to pay for unfunded public sector pensions for example.  But even if you leave out the financial intervention and stick to the official figures, this announcement shows debt rapidly heading for a trillion pounds.  That is an eye-watering figure and an expensive legacy from a decade in which spending was allowed to run out of control, piling up debts for future generations."

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