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A case of lies, damn lies and our rocketing national debt (City AM)

    Allister Heath, the editor of City AM, cites a poll commissioned by the CPS as evidence of the public's lack of awareness of the national debt.

    To read the full story, visit the City AM website.

    "GO on, take the quiz. You know you can’t wait, so here goes. Which of these statements do you believe to be most accurate: a) the coalition is planning to cut the national debt by £600bn between 2010 and 2015; b) it is planning neither to reduce or decrease it; or c) the coalition is planning to increase the national debt by around £600bn. The obvious, undeniable answer, as readers of this fine newspaper will all know, is c).

    Yet when ITV asked ComRes to poll the general public ahead of today’s Autumn Statement, it discovered that just six per cent got it right. An appalling 49 per cent thought the answer was a), that the coalition is slashing the national debt; 14 per cent thought it would keep it the same; and 31 per cent said they didn’t know, ITV revealed last night. Partly because of over-simplification or misleading statements by politicians, and in some cases sloppy reporting by the media, voters are confusing the budget deficit – the increase in debt – and the national debt – the total stock of debt. This means that hardly anybody is even close to understanding the coalition’s policies, making a mockery of the entire political “debate”.

    These same questions were first asked at the beginning of the year by ComRes, last time on behalf of the Centre for Policy Studies. Depressingly, the public’s economic literacy and understanding of what is actually going on has actually deteriorated. At the time, 10 per cent got the answer right; this time it just six per cent."

    To read the full story, visit the City AM website.

    Date added: Wednesday 5th December 2012