Public finances have in common with astronomy the incomprehensibility of its numbers. Can an average human being visualize £7 trillion for instance?
Quoting a confused minister talking to Malcolm Tucker: I don’t know what level of reality I should be operating on. The UK government does. It knows exactly how much money it recognises as debt. Which is significantly less than the liabilities that it currently holds:
- Public pensions £3.3 trillion
- Lloyds and RBS bail-out £2.6 trillion
- Official National Debt £1.0 trillion
- Nuclear decommisioning £0.1 trillion
- Public Finance Initiative debt £0.1 trillion
Public Finance Initiative is an euphemism for contracts for builders and infrastructure consultants.