In yesterday's interview on The Politics Show, Lorely Burt, the current Lib Dem MP for Solihull, demonstrated her knowledge of economics by proclaiming that
"We've got more debt than anyone else in the G20"Except, of course, that we haven't.
Running with the figures from the IMF and their handy reporting tool demonstrates that for 2009, the last year for which actual figures are available, for gross debt measured against GDP, the UK is 9th out of the G20, below the US, France and Germany. It is even below that of Canada, cited by many as an example of how to export your way out of a recession (only achieved in the 1990s because of a surge in global demand, conditions in no way comparable with the present day). The forecasts for this year see Britain rise to 7th in the table, a position broadly analogous with France and Germany, but the top spots remain unchanged. However you cut it, we've got a long way to go to clamber past Japan at the top of the table, although there is a distinct possibility that we might face a similarly stagnant economy thanks to the plans from that idiot boy Chancellor Osborne. (For anoraks, the reason that only 19 countries are listed is that the 20th member is the EU itself and I didn't include that). For those of you still not asleep, Ireland ended 2009 with national debt just below ours on 65%, but is predicted to leap to 94% this year and continue on upwards in the general direction of Italy's performance.
Despite the certainty of her delivery, I'm going to be charitable and put it down to confusion because of the pressure of a live interview to time, but given the persistent dishonesty from the Conservative/Liberal Democrat coalition over statistics and simple historical facts, you never know.