The Official Deficit And Debt Figures Summarised For MPs And Voters Alike

Graham Charles Lear
3 min readOct 14, 2022

“EU’s average deficit is worse than the UK. Would anyone like to tell our MPs, Femi Oluwole, A C Grayling, David Lammy The European Movement and the BBC that it is, with proof?

Anyone viewing the news would assume that the UK’s financial position is dire. This is far from being true, as the latest official figures for government debts and deficits from the UK and the EU27 prove. The EU’s average deficit is actually higher than the UK’s.

Government debt and deficit — UK is performing well

  1. UK Government deficit is less than the EU average

The UK is just 2.6%

Italy 9.9

France 6.8

Romania 6.8

Greece 6.4

Hungary 5.4

Czechia 4.9

[Source: Office for National Statistics | EU Commission official statistics agency.]

2. EU’s №2 economy (France) and №3 economy (Italy) have worse debts than Brexit Britain

[Source: Office for National Statistics | EU Commission official statistics agency.]

In the UK 99.6%

Italy 152. 6

France 114. 4

The Rt Hon Sir John Redwood MP, 14 Oct 2022

“The UK government has borrowed less than most EU countries, with debt levels well below countries like Italy, Greece and Belgium, and below France.

“Globally our levels are lower than the USA and under half Japan’s. This year we will borrow more than planned as will many other countries as the government needs to help families and companies hit by the huge rise in energy prices.

“If we tried to cut the deficit this year by hiking taxes we might end up having to borrow even more. Higher taxes would mean a deeper and longer recession which would cut jobs, incomes and tax revenues.”

Sir John publishes a daily diary, which readers can access here.

The official figures

Few readers will be interested in the details, but I will publish them here for the sake of good order.

UK general government gross debt was £2,365.4 billion at the end of Quarter 1 (Jan to Mar) 2022, equivalent to 99.6% of gross domestic product (GDP). UK general government deficit ( net borrowing) was £15.8 billion in Quarter 1 2022, equivalent to 2.6% of GDP.

Over in the EU, the latest data for government debt shows the highest ratios of government debt to GDP were recorded in Greece (189.3%), Italy (152.6%), Portugal (127.0%), Spain (117.7%), France (114.4%), Belgium (107.9%) and Cyprus (104.9%).

These are all significantly worse figures than the UK’s 99.6%. Not only that but for both government debt and the current deficit of government spending, two of the EU’s three largest economies performed much worse than Brexit Britain.

Will she, won’t she?

The news is full of stories about Liz Truss and Kwast Kwarteng, tax U-turns, the Bank of England, and the IMF. Some MPs in the Parliamentary Conservative Party have added to the situation with what appears to be an electoral death wish.

In the current shambles, three things stand out. Firstly the need for facts, secondly the need for much better communication of policies generally, and thirdly the need for a PM and Chancellor to explain the policies much more clearly to their own MPs.

I dramatically demonstrated the clear rationale for tax cuts, based on actual results from the last 30 years.

I showed Yesterday how — paradoxically — tax cuts promote growth, increase a government’s tax revenues, and put more of the income tax burden on the richest, not less.

I have shown that we are the fastest-growing economy in the G7 and that IMF has been forced to admit that we are in their report.

Firm hands on the tiller

In difficult economic times what is needed in the interests of the United Kingdom as a whole are firm hands on the tiller. This applies whatever the government’s political hue. I have consistently warned of stormy weather ahead. I would suggest that now is the time to don life jackets, not to toss your Captain and First Officer overboard.



Graham Charles Lear

What is life without a little controversy in it? Quite boring and sterile would be my answer.