Friday, 27 April 2012

Debt and other Tory Lib Dem Lies

How many times have we heard the Tories (and LibDem supporters) claim that they are reducing our debt? Ten days ago Cameron said "In just the past year, we have cut over £10 billion off the deficit." Look at the graph and judge for yourself, it certainly seems to be increasing to me.
Year GDP Public Net Debt -total actual/estimate £ billion £ billion 2010 1453.62 759.50 a 2011 1526.5 909.20 e 2012 1602.8 1046.00 e As I have pointed out before, if you take away the money we leant to the banks its far smaller. "The headline figure is £456.33bn, down from £612.58bn in March 2010. The peak was a mighty £1.162 trillion. The total outstanding support is 31% of March's GDP". One good source for exposing this sort of political lie is channel four factcheck. Recent posts include: are eastern Europeans to blame for social housing shortages? Is the Prime Minister right that 24 million people will be better off by £6.50 thanks to the change in personal tax allowance thresholds? Actually families with children across the country woke up to the news that from tomorrow they’ll be an average of £511 worse off a year. The Tories also lied about fuel tanker drivers earning over £45,000, its actually around £35,000 !

11 comments:

Jonathan H said...

Adrian; I'm sure I pulled you up on this last year, but in the very first paragraph you appear to be confusing debt and deficit. Here, let me help: http://timharford.com/2011/03/the-biggest-confusion-in-british-politics/

Adrian Windisch said...

I dont recall your previous comment. Cheers for the correction. To be fair though one word may be ungrammatical i hope the rest if the post is correct.

I am prone to spelling mistakes and poor grammer, especially when i am attempting to put right something i think is wrong.

Jonathan H said...

Adrian; not sure why you're talking about spelling mistakes and grammar, I didn't mention it.

Your opening paragraph underneath the headline "Debt and other Tory Lib Dem Lies" is:

"How many times have we heard the Tories (and LibDem supporters) claim that they are reducing our debt?"

Er, never? The link you posted certainly doesn't claim that. It says:

"Ten days ago Cameron said "In just the past year, we have cut over £10 billion off the deficit".

Which is correct. And I'm sure that you, as chair of a party calling other party leaders "liars" would know that debt and deficit are nothing to do with each other. It's like saying "Twinings claim that sales of tea are down this year. In fact, the truth is that Nescafe instant coffee sales are actually UP!".

Hence why I posted the link to respected economist, journalist and author Tim Harford's piece calling out Johann Hari on his deliberately misleading piece confusing the two: http://timharford.com/2011/03/the-biggest-confusion-in-british-politics/

The words debt and deficit are not interchangeable and certainly not the kind of words you'd confuse with spelling mistakes. So why would you write something like that?

Adrian Windisch said...

I suggest you read your link. Debt and deficit are clearly linked, like a teabag and a box of tea to use your analogy. Nothing to do with coffee

As your link suggests many people use the words interchangably, and as the English language reflects and adapts to changes it may well change to reflect this.

I said in my comment that this is a minor technical mistake. There is no comparison with the deliberate misleading lies in the post.

Jonathan H said...

Adrian wrote: As your link suggests many people use the words interchangably, and as the English language reflects and adapts to changes it may well change to reflect this.

I said in my comment that this is a minor technical mistake


I'm sorry, Adrian, but I'm certainly not buying that and I'm sure (hope!) that most of your intelligent readers won't.

The only people who confuse the words "debt" and "deficit" are people, like Johann Hari and groups like UKUncut, deliberately trying to mislead people regarding the two.

Debt: "Something, typically money, that is owed or due".

Deficit: "The amount by which something, esp. a sum of money, is too small".

The link I posted makes it clear:

I certainly agree that UK government debt isn’t especially high. I may have missed something, but most of the government claims I’ve seen focus not on cutting debt but on cutting the deficit. Certainly nobody is envisaging cutting the debt any time soon.

What’s the difference? The deficit is the amount of new debt accumulated in a year, or alternatively, the amount by which government spending exceeds taxes. Johann didn’t mention the deficit in his piece. If he had I am sure he would have said that while UK government debt isn’t high, the deficit is high – extraordinarily high.

Adrian Windisch said...

Your link says "The deficit is the amount of new debt accumulated in a year, or alternatively, the amount by which government spending exceeds taxes."

Jonathan H said...

It would be helpful if you published my response to your comment at 28 April 2012 10:00 otherwise your 10:23 reply to my (currently invisible) comment between the two looks a bit out of context. The missing comment is the one where I quote dictionary definitions of debt and deficit and quote the relevant paragraph from the item I linked to.

And yes, you're right "The deficit is the amount of new debt accumulated in a year".

Doesn't negate the point that you said that Cameron said "deficit" and you then posted a graph of "debt".

Adrian Windisch said...

As I said already, this is a minor error, the words are linked, i used the wrong one in this case. do you think it would be difficult to find tories or lab doing the same thing?

I have published every comment sent to me.

howard thomas said...

Actually Adrian its quite an important point that Jonathon H makes.
Debt is the amount owed in total and deficit is the amount that the debt is increasing by.
To reduce debt the government would have to be spending less than they were raising in taxes and not something they are likely to be claiming any time soon !

However its an interesting point that the rich are getting richer, if you choose to believe in the Sunday Times rich list, and I don't think that anyone is going to disagree that the poor are getting poorer , assuming that you count 'poor' as those who are not rich, ie. most people are feeling the pinch !
The phrase "we are all in this together" doesn't quite seem to fit the facts.

howard thomas said...

Its also worth remembering that the UK is still borrowing money at a crazy rate. I heard a figure the other day that stated that the UK had just borrowed £18.2 billion in just oone month. Clearly that can't go on in an economy that isn't growing !

Adrian Windisch said...

Good points cheers Howard.