As we limp towards the possible US default on their national debt next Tuesday I see that Nadine Dorries MPs’ monthly Bedford News column this week is titled, ‘Time to act, before we become another Greece’
She is not talking about the US but about Britain.
‘When I tell people that we are paying £129million per day interest on the country’s debt, they are amazed. That’s not the debt capital we are paying back, it’s just the interest on the capital.
No country can continue with that level of debt or continue to increase it, because if we do, in a very short space of time, we will be the next Greece. Not paying off our debt and getting it down to at least manage levels would eventually put the state in the position of not being able to pay its own bills.
Being in such a severe amount of debt means that the world bank, investors, the IMF and others begin to lose confidence in our ability to pay back and so they only then lend us money at a very high interest rate, which makes the situation far worse.’
There is a fascinating website called UK Debt Bombshell which starts as follows:
‘Britain owes over £900 billion. It's real, it's ours… and we've got to pay it back. It's a truly frightening figure. Why is the world's sixth richest country so deeply in debt?
Every year the UK runs a large budget deficit. The Government spends more money than it can tax, so we plug the gap by selling bonds to investors at home and abroad. These bonds - known as gilts - have to be repaid in full, with interest. Added together, our unpaid loans make up the UK's national debt.
Right now, that debt is growing violently. The Government forecasts it will soar to an eye-watering £1.1 trillion by 2011.'
The figures on the site are a little out of date but it tackles the following questions in a very straightforward way. Well worth a look.
Q: Why is Britain in so much debt?
Q: Who do we borrow all this money from?
Q: How is national debt measured?
Q: What are we spending the money on?
Q: Does it matter how government spends the money?
Q: How will national debt affect our future?
Q: Is the problem getting better or worse?
Q: What can we do to prevent a debt crisis?
Q: Has Britain always been in so much debt?
Q: Is it right for us to borrow and spend like this?
Q: Are we really printing money?
Q: What are your sources of information?
The Good Book says, ‘The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is slave to the lender.’ (Proverbs 22:7)
It also says , ‘The wicked borrow and do not repay, but the righteous give generously’ (Psalm 37:20-22)