LETTER: UK debt expected to keep rising

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Francis Maude’s article (Horsham edition, December 11) on the state of the economy, was notable for its omissions.

It is good to see more in work, but productivity (GDP) has not risen in proportion, any more than tax revenue has, whilst disposable incomes remain suppressed.

As a result the public sector burden remains at around 40 per cent of GDP and the budget deficit for this year has not been reduced. So the UK debt will not start to reduce until around 2019, ie five years later than the Chancellor undertook in 2010.

The UK debt is expected to rise from around £1,450bn now, to £1,650bn in 2019, ie some £722bn higher than when the coalition came into power.

The annual deficit was supposed to have reduced to £40bn this year but it will be close to £100bn. We understand that the PFI debt left by Labour is not included in these figures and that may well have to be paid for by our children and grandchildren.

Also, as pointed out by a letter writer recently, the National Planning Policy Framework has not delivered the affordable houses needed. The circa £20bn pa needed to make up the shortfall and accommodate the population increase, did not appear in the Autumn Statement.

The UK is clearly not living within its means and if the more difficult challenges are not addressed then we will see even more pressure on our NHS, police services and social services after the election.

There are ways to make government more cost effective without eroding such services further, but that has clearly proved too difficult.

The Chancellor has failed to do what he undertook in 2010 and we have no reason to believe that he would do any better, with another term of office. Perhaps Mr Maude could say what he would do, as Chancellor?

ROGER ARTHUR

Horsham district councillor for Chanctonbury and UKIP parliamentary candidate for Horsham, North Street, Horsham