By Daniel Hannan
Anyone feeling smug about the Greek crisis should take a quick dekko at our own statistics.
Spending in April and May was 4.1 per cent higher than during the equivalent period in 2010. Government borrowing was £27.4 billion, up from £25.9 billion the previous year. This additional debt comes despite a series of tax rises: VAT, fuel duty, income tax and National Insurance have all gone up.
In other words, despite everything we keep reading about “the cuts”, spending and borrowing are both higher now than they were under Gordon Brown. Since the Coalition took office, our national debt has increased from 53 to 61 per cent of GDP.
A large part of the increase is accounted for by the interest payments on the debt racked up during the wastrel Brown years. Most of the rest has gone on overseas aid, healthcare and a whopping 74 per cent net increase in our contribution to the EU budget.