debt economics

Difference between Cyprus and UK?

Not enough!

See tables below:

  • Britain’s total debt as a percentage pf GDP is actually 5% higher than Cyprus,
  • our annual budget deficits are the same as a percentage of GDP, and
  • the UK banking sector is only 4 or 5 times the size of our economy, compared to Cyprus’ 7 times.

The whole of the EU doesn’t look terribly different and the US is in a not dissimilar position. The point is that this model of using debt to replace tax revenues is unsustainable, and we need to move to a sustainable economic model now. Post-2015 will likely be too late.


From Guardian :

Debt/GDP table

And here’s the key details of today’s government debt figures from Eurostat ” onwards).

Government debt, as a percentage of GDP, 2012

Germany: 81.9%

France: 90.2%

Britain: 90.0%

Spain: 84.2%

Italy: 127.0%

Greece: 156.9%

Portugal: 123.6%

Ireland: 117.6%

Cyprus: 85.8%

Slovenia: 54.1%

Euro area: 90.6%

EU27 85.3%


Germany outshone the rest of Europe by posting a budget surplus, of 0.2%.

Annual surpluses/deficits for 2012, via Eurostat

Germany: +0.2%

France: -4.8%

Britain: -6.3%

Spain: -10.6%

Italy: -3.0%

Greece: -10.0%

Portugal: -6.4%

Ireland: -7.6%

Cyprus: -6.3%

Slovenia: -4.0%

Euro area: -3.7%

European Union: -4.0%

You can download the full details here.


From :

“There’s been a lot of head shaking in recent days about the size of Cyprus’ banking sector relative to its economy.

And it is indeed grossly inflated with assets and liabilities at around €126bn, or 700% of the island’s GDP.

If you have a banking sector that size you’re asking for trouble – for how can a state guarantee for depositors be credible? If the banks go under the state wouldn’t be able to rescue the savers.

How foolish.

Yet we’ve nothing to be smug about here in Britain.

This chart (below) from Albert Gallo, an analyst at RBS, shows that we’re not that far behind. Despite all the deleveraging of recent years our banking sector still has assets and liabilities equal to 450% of our GDP.

Remember this next time you hear from one of the banking industry lobbyists how vital it is for the UK’s economic future to have a massive banking sector. Remember Cyprus.


crisis debt economics WellFair

Black & White

We have three crises today: an economic crisis, a social crisis and a climate crisis.

In the UK the economic crisis is that we are borrowing £2 an hour, for every hour worked by every man and woman in employment. That’s new borrowing every hour worked by every person in the country – and that is with “austerity”.

The social crisis is that, despite not being able to afford the services we already have, those services are not good enough and not meeting the needs. We are not building the cohesive, educated and participatory citizenry necessary to sustain our complex, modern society.

The climate crisis is that our unaffordable and ineffective society is also borrowing from the natural world around us, when we are ready overdrawn on that account. This debt cannot be “written down” or “forgiven”, it must be paid. We have the technology to solve the climate crisis, and the resources to solve the social crisis, what is missing is an economic model that allows that to become a reality.

The current economic model is preventing us from solving the social and climate crises. The LIFE economic model is the key to unlocking our potential and to solving these crises. BY REPLACING CASH DISTRIBUTIONS WITH WELLFAIR SERVICES WE CAN ENSURE THAT WE DO BUILD A COHESIVE, EDUCATED AND PARTICIPATORY CITIZENRY. Wellfair reduces the cost of delivering social services, and automatically promotes sustainable resource use.

We have three crises and one solution – the choice is ours. The switch to wellfair will require everyone to participate more, and it will not be without its winners and losers. The alternative is a downward spiral of debt, social disintegration and further climate instability.

The choice is yours to make, and now is the only time that you can make it.