SMILING CARCASS'S TWO-PENNETH

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How well do people understand the term ‘government deficit’?

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Few ordinary voters really understand government debt and have for at least 35 years equated it with household debt- thanks to Thatcher- but it really is not anything like household debt; government debt is akin to you moving money from your savings account to your current account.

Effectively, government debt is money they owe themselves!

alittleecon

Here’s an interesting poll finding from Yougov this week. They asked people the question “How well would you say you understand what people mean when they talk about the government’s deficit?” In answer, 69% said they had a very clear or fairly clear understanding. Not bad then. It’s talked about every day by politicians, so it’s good people understand what it means.

Not so fast though. Yougov followed up by asking “Which of the following do you think best describes the government’s deficit?” The majority (51%) thought “The total amount of money the government has borrowed” rather than the more correct description (“The amount of extra money that the government borrows each year”), which was only picked by 31%. 2% even answered “The total amount of money that everyone in the country has
collectively borrowed on overdrafts and credit cards.” Oh dear.

This is probably good news for…

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Written by Smiling Carcass

20/01/2015 at 8:09 AM

Posted in Uncategorized

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