HL Deb 27 October 2003 vol 654 cc21-2WA
Lord Plumb

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What was the sum total of the national debt and the United Kingdom's balance of payments in each of the past five years. [HL4888]

Lord Mclntosh of Haringey

The information requested falls within the responsibility of the National Statistician who has been asked to reply.

Letter from the National Statistician, Len Cook, dated 27 October 2003.

As National Statistician, I have been asked to reply to your recent question on National Debt and the United Kingdom Balance of Payments. (HL4888).

The term "national debt" is no longer used to describe a formal measure. The current measure of public debt is Public Sector Net Debt. The table shows net debt at the end of each year. The UK Balance of Payments is represented by the International Investment Position, which shows the end-year level of UK net credit or debt to rest of the world.

The relevant information for the last 5 years for which data are available is shown in the table below.

Public Sector Net Debt (£bn) Net International Investment Position (£bn)
1998 353.6 -133.2
1999 352.8 -70.6
2000 317.4 -36.1
2001 318.8 -29.8
2002 336.1 -9.2
Data are for the end of each year shown, and are not adjusted for inflation.

More detailed information is published on the National Statistics website. The appropriate reference for Pubic Sector Net Debt is: http://www.statistics.gov.uk/CCI/nscl.asp7ID = 7242 and for Balance of Payments is: http://www.statistics.gov.uk/CCI/nscl.asp71D = 5819.