Mythbusters: “Britain is broke – we can’t afford to invest”

If Britain is broke at the moment, then – looking at this longer series – it was also broke for a whole century between 1750 and 1850, and for 20 years after the Second World War. In reality, in neither case did the UK default, and reveal itself as bust – both periods were times of investment and national renewal. Today, our national debt is significantly lower than Japan’s (about 200% of GDP), and comparable to Germany’s (83%) and the US (80%). By international or historical standards, the national debt is not high.