Our economy was in a worse state than Greece – we faced a sovereign debt crisis if we did not make urgent and severe cuts.
“Our Budget deficit is set to overtake Greece. If we don’t deal with this, there will be no growth, there will be no recovery.”
(Source: David Cameron Speech, 28 May 2010)
“Greece stands there as a warning signal of what happens to countries who wait too long to act.”
(Source: George Osborne speech to Tory Spring Conference, 27 Feb 2010)
“[Gordon Brown] has left this country with the largest budget deficit in Europe – larger even than Greece”
(Source: George Osborne quoted in the Daily Telegraph, 6 May 2010)
Our economy is much stronger than Greece and our debts are much lower than the Greek debt – our debt is 68.1% of GDP while the Greek debt is 113.2% of GDP. Our economy is 6 times the size of Greece. Greece has a 50% higher unemployment rate. Our credit rating is much better, our debt costs less, our bonds mature later. The comparison is ridiculous.
(Sources: CIA World Factbook, World Bank)
Conservative Mayor of London Boris Johnson has also attacked this spurious argument:
“You may remember that during the election and in the run-up to the June budget, we were told that it was necessary to avoid a Greek-style sovereign debt crisis. We were told we would have to slash the deficit or else the markets would punish us with cripplingly high interest rates. Well, the deficit is still more or less what it was, and yet interest rates and bond yields are at historic lows.”
(Source: Boris Johnson article in the Daily Telegraph, 6 September 2010)
“Our debts are not as bad as Greece”
(Source: David Cameron speech, 7 June 2010)
See the Channel 4 Factcheck blog for a detailed breakdown of how this comparison makes no economic sense
From Howard Dawber