Monday, March 14, 2005

More on Budget bribery

The Times has another piece today on the likely bribes Gordo will lay down this week. They guess £2-3 billion, although I still think £4 plus- to top Ollie's bid- is more likely.

More interesting are the numbers produced by Jonathan Loynes at Capital Economics on the longer term liabilities we taxpayers now bear. The Times says:

'Putting a hard number on the true scale of the potential liabilities from PFI is tricky; there are lots of grey areas. Still, Mr Loynes comes up with a plausible total of £60 billion — a hefty 5 per cent of GDP.

On top of this, he highlights how any long-term assessment of the country’s solvency should also take into account £500 billion of unfunded liabilities for the future pensions of public sector workers — and a vast £1,800 billion liability for future state pensions for the rest of us.'

Scary enough, but his figures for pension liabilities are actually lower than those I've posted previously. I reckoned £690 billion for public sector pensions (Watson Wyatt calculation), and £2.5-3 trillion for state pensions (my calculations).

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