Last evening, Thursday 30th April 2015 in the Leaders Question Time, Ed Miliband was asked directly if the last Labour Government overspent.  Ed clearly answered NO.  The questioner challenged him again and Ed started saying the things Labour had spent money on.  Ed claimed there was a banking crisis and that was to blame but it wasn’t Labour.

Actually the overspending was not on the things he claimed, it was on the NHS and Welfare.

Many years ago the readers of this short article would have attended Secondary or Grammar school and wondered why they had to learn mathematics.  It was so that on 1st May 2015 you could understand the numbers that show Labour was the cause of most of the deficit.

YEAR Income £bn Spending £bn Deficit £bn
2007 516.3 549.4 33.1
2008 545.5 582.2 36.7
2009 536.3 633.8 97.5
2010 513.4 672.3 158.9

Column 2 is from HMRC Revenue & Customs Receipts, also spending minus the deficit.

Column 3 is from, also backed up by Datablog who reproduce sections of tables from the ONS.

Column 4 figures are taken from

The fiscal years 2007 and 2008 show the trend of the previous 7 years, where Gordon Brown as Chancellor had overspent each year by around £35bn.

The banking crisis occurred in September of 2008 and tax revenues fell and by April 2009 were down £9.2bn on the previous April.  During the same year the Chancellor, now Alistair Darling, had ramped up public spending by £51.5bn.   Then from 2009 to 2010 tax & other income fell a further £22.9bn, while public expenditure was further ramped up by £38.5.

So of the running deficit by April 2010 of £158.9bn;

The banking crisis had caused £9.2bn + £22.9bn = £32.1bn

Labour overspending had caused £36.7bn + £51.5bn + £38.5bn = £126.7bn.

The banking crisis had caused (32.1 * 100) / 158.9 = 20% of the deficit.

Labour had caused (126.7 * 100) / 158.9 = 80% of the deficit.


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