Durkin has a history of producing documentaries that have been open to challenge with regard to the facts; his last for Channel 4 denied global warming and in the process aligned itself with the libertarian right of politics. This programme looks as though it does the same thing. The national debt is not £4.8 trillion. To construct any number near that amount ignores the fact that state pension liabilities might be paid over the next sixty years. Few are due now: all those that are can be afforded.
A trained accountant unfamiliar with the concept of accruals.
The £4.8 trillion, recall, is made up of payments to be made in the future for promises already made and the payments for which we\’ve already received. The public sector pensions which people have already paid their (laughably low) chunks of cash in and which are now contractually due to them. The State pensions which people have already paid national insurance for and are, even if not contractually, at least supposedly due.
They may or may not be affordable, none of them are due now: but they are debts which we should indeed be counting as debts.
And, umm, if we don\’t make provisions for such then we should be recognising them as accruals: as any accountant will tell you. For unless we do that how can we work out whether they are in fact affordable when they become due?