Thursday, 19 February 2009

Red Alert, Red Alert, Red Alert, Oh Dearie Me.

Compare, dear reader, the force of the following front-page headlines from news websites and their first lines thereafter...

Bail-out could raise UK debt £1.5tn

The government's rescue of some of Britain's biggest banks will more than double the national debt at a stroke after government statisticians decided to classify Lloyds and Royal Bank of Scotland as public corporations. Their liabilities – up to £1.5tn – will be added to the taxpayer's balance sheet.

- The Guardian.

RBS and Lloyds could add £1.5 trillion to UK debt

The Government's stakes in Royal Bank of Scotland and Lloyds could add an extra £1.5 trillion to Britain's national debt, the equivalent of 100pc of gross domestic product (GDP), the Office for National Statistics said on Thursday.

- The Telegraph

Britain faces years of tax rises as bank bailouts add £1.5TRILLION to public debt

Britain faces years of tax rises and huge cuts in public spending as the government battles to control public debt that could soar to £15trillion, an official report has revealed

- Daily Mail

and finally...

Recession reduces total tax paid

The recession led to a £7bn fall in the amount of tax paid by individuals and businesses in January, data shows.

- the BBC.

Well, golly (oops!) gee, BBC - seven billion down. That's quite a lot of money for the government to find, isn't it?

Fortunately, this line: "It said this could add between £1tn and £1.5tn to public sector debt" is not so serious in BBC-land, and gets into the bottom paragraph of three.

I for one feel glad that the BBC has seen fit to soften the blow and indeed to try to cheer us up in these darkest days of Gordon Brown's prudent, modernising, light-touch regulating, tough choices world-saving economic policy by concentrating on those pesky revenue losses...

1 comment:

Thud said...

The facts and figures are coming fast and furious...where will it end?...besides in tears that is!


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