The national debt has been the subject of many controversies surrounding the UK economy since the 2008 global financial crisis.
A festering Brexit debate has added more confusion into the discussion, with analysts seeking to measure the UK's imminent withdrawal from the European Union.
As the nation is heading for a 12 December general election, government spending is back in the spotlight while political parties prepare their political road maps.
The total debt of the UK government was £ 1.821.9 billion ($2.347.7 billion), 84.2 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP) and 24.2 percentage points above the Maastricht reference value for the financial year ending March 2019.
In March 2010, when debt stood at 69.1 per cent of GDP, Britain first outpaced that figure.
Nevertheless, in the year to March 2019, the general government debt or net lending rose to £ 41.5 billion, or 1.9 per cent of GDP and 1.1 percentage points just below three per cent Maastricht reference value.
Despite posting a £ 57.4 billion spike since March 2018, British public-sector debt dropped from 84.6% to 84.2%, meaning that GDP is currently growing at a higher rate than government debt.
Compared to other major EU economies, the debt levels of the UK place it in the middle order rather. For example, Greece's debt-to-GDP ratio stood at 182.1 per cent in March 2019, Italy 136.6, Spain 98.9, France 99.7. Germany, the largest economy in Europe, had a rate of 61.7%
Nordic countries like Sweden and Norway are on a better basis, with a debt-to-GDP ratio of 36.4% and 36.1% respectively.
Zsolt Darvas, a senior fellow at Brussels think tank Bruegel, said: "The existing UK gross public debt level is in the lower range of developed countries ' debts." The low international interest rate environment has also resulted in low UK interest rates, and academic research suggests that government bond interest rates will stay low for many years to come.
With the ruling Conservative Party and the opposition Labor Party unveiling their campaign manifestos, there seems to be a surge in infrastructure spending on the horizon that would raise investment in railways, roads and buildings, but this expanding national debt.
As Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Labor leader Jeremy Corbyn promised to spend more on clean energy and reduce carbon emissions, the climate crisis also found special mention.
Paul Johnson, director at the Fiscal Studies Institute (IFS), said that the Labor Manifesto offered a marked increase in the government's role.
"We predict that their policies will push up real expenditure by £ 80 billion in 2023–24, which would be almost 10% more than what is currently scheduled. They expect that their revenue-raising proposals would carry in a similar amount that, if achieved, will lift the tax burden well above the rates maintained in the United Kingdom after World War II." We have the plan to increase investment spending by £ 55 billion annually, a doubling at present levels and even more than the significant reductions planned by Liberal Democrats and Tories. "The Conservatives tended to be much more conservative in their spending plans, the coalition plans to spend only £ 2.9 billion more yearly.
As said by Bruegel's Darvas, in the years to come, public debt as a share of GDP will continue to decline in the UK, helped by very low-interest rates. "To boost the public debt-to-GDP ratio, a gigantic budget deficit or an economic contraction would be expected," he said.
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