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The national debt is still soaring—but that doesn’t matter

Its insignificance is significant because it means nationalisation is affordable

By Jonathan Portes  

£100 billion or so of the UK's extra debt relates to the Bank of England’s Asset Purchase Facility, writes Portes. Photo: NurPhoto/SIPA USA/PA Images

“Conservatives believe in balancing the books and paying down debts—because it is wrong to pass to future generations a bill you cannot or will not pay yourself.” That’s what the Conservative manifesto said. And it is true that the deficit has been reduced very significantly since its post-crisis peak—down from about £150 billion in 2009-10 to less than £50 billion last year. So, although we’re still a long…

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