14 June 2010

Britain's Ponzi scheme

Right on cue, the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) has produced a discussion paper (pdf here) of Britain's admitted and unadmitted debt, summarized in the following table expressed in £billion and percent of GDP:

                                                            April 2010                                September 2008
Official debt                                          772 (54%)                               18,645 (43%)
Allowance for financial interventions        73 (5%)                                   N/A
Public sector pensions                        1,179 (82%)                                 1,261 (85%)
Current pensioners                             1,120 (78%)                                    970 (65%)
Future basic pension liability               1,211 (84%)                                    911 (61%)
Future additional pension liability           467 (33%)                                    348 (23%)
Less current NIF balance                      -51 (4%)                                       -38 (-3%)
Total                                                 4,771 (333%)                               4,097 (276%)

As the paper points out, these figures move Britain from 50th to 1st in the international ranking of debt as a percentage of GDP, ahead of Zimbabwe. 'The UK’s only consolation is that many other countries with relatively old populations and generous PAYG schemes (most of Europe, North America and Japan) also have large undisclosed implicit pensions debt and would also overtake Zimbabwe.'

Of course the most striking aspect of this analysis is the proportion of GDP required to cover state employee pensions, while those required to pay for the statist parasite have already had their contributions significantly increased, with their benefits certain to be slashed in the immediate future.

Since envy has long been the driving force of British politics, it seems to me the current situation offers a golden opportunity to turn it on our bloated and productivity resistant bureaucracy.

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