The Daily Telegraph, 26 November, Roger Bootle
Economic ideas move in circles: stand in one place long enough and you will see the same old ideas come around again. This is exactly what is happening in regard to concerns about public debt.
Such matters are currently at the forefront of our minds, not least because of last week’s Autumn Statement. The ratio of the UK’s public debt to GDP is still rising and it is set to peak at just under 100pc.
But high and rising debt ratios are a global phenomenon with a shared history.
After the Global Financial Crisis of 2009/11, debt ratios rose considerably. There was a heated debate about how important it was to get those ratios down again by raising taxes and cutting spending.
In this country, the coalition government built its whole strategy around this imperative. And it worked – for a time. The debt ratio fell from about 80pc to just over 70pc before rampant spending during the pandemic caused it to soar again.
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