When you were a kid, did you used to try and play a bit of ‘oneupmanship’ on your mates by telling them you could count up to two trillion?
Maybe you dreamed that one day you’d become a trillionaire, or a gazillionaire even…
Well, far from the stuff of childhood fantasy, the number ‘two trillion’ is about to feel very real for every single one of us, because that’s where the country’s debt sits, following the unprecedented level of support that has been rolled out since the beginning of lockdown in March.
Rishi Sunak has said that the packages, including furlough, bounce back loans and Government grants, all part of his promise to do ‘whatever it takes’, were the responsible paths to tread, but that now, and for many years to come it seems, the country must tow a more ‘sustainable path’.
In case you haven’t read between the lines yet, that means cuts, the likes of which we probably haven’t seen, not even following the last economic crisis and the years of austerity that followed.
Well, we all need something to look forward to…
Apart from NHS nurses and doctors, who look set to be exempt in recognition of their service to the country throughout the pandemic, the vast majority of public sector workers look set to face pay freezes for a few years, with unions already reacting angrily to the rumours.
They’re just rumours for now, but there’s rarely smoke without fire, and this has surely been on the cards for a while now.
Operating as a country with two trillion pounds worth of debt is far from ideal, and we’re sure that the vast majority of people will understand that future spending will have to be limited, but what we’re all waiting to see, is just where that spending will be cut from, and who will be picking up the pieces in the decades ahead.
Two trillion pounds.
It’s going to have to come from somewhere.