According to figures prepared by the Office for Budget Responsibility, interest payments on the national debt (the accumulated stock of borrowing) are soaring. In cash terms, the national debt stands at £1,189 billion this year. In 2017-18, it will be £1,637 billion.
Back in 2009-10, the debt stood at £759.5 billion. In the current year, the interest on government debts will cost taxpayers £46.5 billion. By 2017-18, interest payments will consume £71.3 billion. This is more than the combined annual budgets of the Home Office and the Department for Education, which between them spend around £65 billion.
Borrowing is now forecast to be over £200 billion more than was forecast in the last Spending Review.
In May 2010, the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee forecast growth of 3 to 6 per cent in 2013, and 5 per cent in 2015. These were plainly absurd. The Office for Budget Responsibility now forecasts that growth this year will be 0.6 per cent – half its earlier forecast of 1.2 per cent.
Even during a severe capitalist economic crisis that is causing great hardship and suffering to workers, sections of finance capital are profiting directly from the largesse of government.
All in it together? Neither misery nor accumulation is shared. ■