In his editorial in yesterday's City AM, Allister Heath wrote:
Next year, government spending in Britain will reach 54.1 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP), up from 36.6 per cent in 2000. This devastating statistic, buried on the OECD’s website, has been largely overlooked; yet it is one of the most important facts that everybody should know about today’s Britain. It demonstrates that almost an extra fifth of our economy (17.5 per cent, to be exact) has come under state control on Labour’s watch since the start of the century.
Sadly, that's not the only devastating statistic buried on the OECD's website. Indeed, if you look at this OECD spreadsheet from July this year, you'll find everything you need to destroy Gordon Brown's absurd reputation for economic competence. Actually, I'd say there is enough there to bury that particular fantasy at a crossroads with a stake through its heart. For example:
- In 2000, we had the 7th lowest public spending in the 30 OECD countries. In 2010, we will have the 6th highest.
- In 2000, we were the 16th most indebted country in the OECD. In 2010, we will be the 8th most indebted country.
- In 2000, we had the 7th lowest deficit in the OECD (in fact, we had a surplus). Next year, the UK will have the biggest budget deficit of any country in the OECD.
I've put together a few tables showing the declining health of the UK's public finances over the course of Brown's disastrous decade. If you can't see them, click here.