National Debt at £824.8 billion; Government Borrowing at £12.8 billion/month; is this really the time for ‘Development’ and ‘Growth’?

Put simply what our National Debt actually means is that every man, woman and child in this country ‘owes’ over £13,000. We found out in October that Green Man Lane Estate redevelopment will cost £137 million. The money appears to be coming from A2Dominion, who receive £150 million funding each year from the UK Government. My question is then that given this is our money (or more correctly money borrowed on our behalf by our Government) should we really be spending it in this way or at all? We can’t as a nation (or as individuals) carry on living on ever increasing debt.

Some more numbers (from the Office of National Statistics) to weep over – UK Government borrowing for this financial year will exceed £175 billion; our National Debt is 59% of the UK GDP; and public sector borrowing for the six months to September 2009 was £77.3 billion – the largest mid-year deficit ever recorded since records began in 1946.

Ealing’s new draft Local Development Framework Core Strategy paints a picture of 14,115 new homes being built in Ealing over the next 17 years. If GMLE’s 738 new homes are going to cost £137 million, it will cost someone £2.6 billion to build all these new homes. Just where will this money come from? Do the public and private sectors think they can borrow it? If so, from whom?

Peak Oil and Climate Change are impending, growing problems largely ignored by governments in all countries and at all levels. When the oil price reached almost $150/barrel last year, the price of fertilizer doubled. Pundits are now declaring that we have now passed Peak Oil (ie oil supplies are now diminishing) and are predicting a $200/barrel oil price in 2013. This is likely to treble current prices for fertilizers. Just think what that will do to food prices. It will also bring about a sharp increase in the price of all oil based products and services or oil fuelled manufactured products or services (covers most things).

And just suppose that the recovery from recession never comes….

Eric Leach
4th November, 2009

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