The Taxpayers' Alliance (TPA) re-launched its Debt Clock yesterday and it is a stark reminder of the urgent need to address the UK's national debt crisis.
The Debt Clock can be found at www.debt-clock.org and it will be Tweeting updates on the hour every hour via @ukdebtclock.
"The national debt is the total amount of money the UK Government currently owes. This is different to the annual national deficit, which is the amount of money the UK Government spends in excess of income. Each year we run a deficit, the national debt grows. Britain has been running a national deficit for the past 14 years." Explains the TPA.
Here's some really worrying stats from the clock when it was re-launched showing how fast the national debt is rising.
The TPA says it is going up by:
• £4,344 per second
• £260,654 per minute
• £15,639,269 per hour
• £375,342,466 per day
That means it will rise by about £137 billion this year alone says the TPA, which will then lead to it hitting the £1.5 trillion mark as early as 2016/17.
To put this in context here is what those huge sums translate into when considering some recent large projects.
The national debt would have:
• Paid for the London 2012 Olympic Games in just over 3 weeks
• Covered the cost of the Scottish Parliament building in little more than a day
• Ensured the entire Transport budget was settled in 9 weeks
• Funded the construction of 183 Wembley Stadiums this year
• More than covered the entire NHS budget this year
The debt interest payments now stand at £52.1 billion compared to the £38 billion we spend on defence and as the national debt rises so will these interest payments.
The Chief Executive of the TaxPayers' Alliance, Jonathan Isaby, said:
"The deficit may be coming down but we shouldn't let that distract us from the rapidly increasing national debt. Somebody has to pay these bills, and that means this terrifying debt burden will fall on the shoulders of future generations of taxpayers. Politicians must get serious and wage a war on waste, instead of borrowing from our children and grandchildren to pay for things we can't afford today."