Via National Statistics Online – Public Sector Finances, the trajectory of cumulative public borrowing this year more or less matches last year:
Here’s the tragedy: while my constituents and people across the country are seeing real reductions in services and worrying about cuts to public spending, public sector borrowing in June was slightly worse than last year and Government expenditure will increase in cash terms every year of the next five.
In that context, press coverage of our dreadful financial position is woeful.
The state continues to live beyond its means, even as this Government wrestles to bring spending under control. Our public debt is increasing. The Bank of England continues to hold down the headline rate of interest. Inflation is too high, with all the injustice that entails for savers and those on low or fixed incomes.
Prosperity does not follow from borrowing to fund present consumption: it comes from consuming less than is produced, saving the excess and investing in capital goods, real productive capacity. If we are serious about prosperity for everyone in this country, journalists must raise the quality of public debate and Government spending must be reined in with the consent of the population.
That is the task facing the press today: not to promote denial or despair, but to encourage real understanding of the scale of the challenge we face.