Five years ago the new coalition government set itself the task of repairing the United Kingdom’s finances. Through a combination of public spending cuts and tax rises, the government’s central macroeconomic plans in 2010 were to cut day to day borrowing and reduce the nation’s overall debt. By this year the fiscal repair job was meant to be complete.
Unfortunately, none of the government’s macroeconomic targets has been met. Borrowing is 3.9% of gross domestic product (GDP), not 1.1% as planned; the structural current deficit is 3.4% (£640.7bn (€920bn; $970bn), not zero); and, at over 83% of GDP, the national debt is 16 percentage points higher than planned.