Emergency tax cuts and higher public spending to offset the impact of a no-deal Brexit would send government debt to its highest level in more than half a century, according to Britain’s leading experts on the public finances. The Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) said the scale of the government response required to firefight a flatlining economy in the event of a disorderly departure from the EU would come with a hefty price tag for the public purse. In a warning to Boris Johnson as his Brexit plan risked unravelling in the face of stiff opposition at home and abroad, the thinktank said government borrowing was already set to more than double next year regardless of the outcome of negotiations with Brussels. It also said the national debt – the sum total of all borrowing accumulated by the British state – would hit almost 90% of GDP if Britain crashed out of the EU without a deal, its highest level since the mid-1960s. Coming as the prime minister increases funding … [Read more...] about No-deal Brexit would ‘push national debt to levels last seen in 60s’
National government debt
This is what happens when the government targets you for zombie debt collection. You receive a letter from your state’s department of human services claiming that you were “overissued” $4,132 in food stamp and cash benefits in the 1980s. Enclosed is a copy of the original overpayment notice they say they sent you when you were still listening to Madonna and Bobby Brown. You don’t remember ever seeing it before. The letter informs you that, since you didn’t respond immediately three decades ago, your 90-day window to request a fair hearing and contest the overpayment has closed. You now have a debt, and it’s past due. The state threatens to refer this debt to the United States Department of Treasury, which has the power to withhold your federal tax return, your earned income tax credit, a portion of your military retirement pay – even your social security disability check. You are barely making ends meet, so the financial loss might mean doing … [Read more...] about Struggling Americans are haunted by zombie debt. Will you be next?
A proposed new tax on Whatsapp voice calls has sparked Lebanon's biggest protests in years. Thousands of people gathered outside the government headquarters in central Beirut yesterday evening in an effort to force the cabinet to backtrack on plans to raise the new tax. Protesters across Lebanon blocked roads with burning tyres today and marched in Beirut for a second day in demonstrations targeting the government and the economic crisis, in what has been dubbed the 'Whatsapp Revolution'. Protesters clash with the policemen during a protest in front of Government Palace in downtown Beirut Lebanese riot police fire tear gas at protesters during a violent night of clashes after a proposed new tax was announced on Whatsapp calls Protesters take a selfie on a sofa as they block the Dora highway next to a fire during the clashes Tear gas was fired as some demonstrators and police clashed in the early hours. Fires lit in the street in central Beirut were smouldering on Friday morning. … [Read more...] about Violent ‘Whatsapp Revolution’ protests break out in Lebanon after government announced plans to tax calls on messaging apps
Papua New Guinea has asked China to refinance its entire government debt in a blow to Australia’s attempts to counter China’s influence in the region. The request marks a “significant shift” in regional politics and PNG’s allegiances, according to Pacific experts. Australia has traditionally been the largest aid donor and most important ally of PNG, but in recent years ties between China and PNG have strengthened. PNG’s prime minister, James Marape, visited Australia two weeks ago at the invitation of his counterpart, Scott Morrison, in his first international visit since becoming the Pacific nation’s leader at the end of May. In a speech during his visit, Marape said he wanted PNG to move away from an “aid-donor” relationship with Australia within 10 years, and step up alongside its neighbour as a leader in the Pacific region. However, on Tuesday, after a meeting with Xue Bing, the Chinese ambassador in Port Moresby, Marape … [Read more...] about Papua New Guinea asks China to refinance its national debt as Beijing influence grows
Seaside towns and cities dominate the list of areas with the highest numbers of people getting into serious difficulties with debt, according to new figures. Scarborough, the largest resort on the Yorkshire coast, ranked second out of 347 local authorities in England and Wales for personal insolvencies, while Torbay in Devon – which includes the town of Torquay – came third, said the accountancy firm UHY Hacker Young. Plymouth, on the south coast of Devon, was ranked fourth, while Blackpool was in sixth place. However, it was the city of Stoke-on-Trent in the Midlands which had the highest rate of personal insolvencies, recording just over 51 per 10,000 adults in 2018. The national average was 25, said the firm. The insolvency rate includes personal bankruptcies, debt relief orders and individual voluntary arrangements. UHY Hacker Young said the data suggested many of the locations “are still a long way from recovering from the decades of contraction in their … [Read more...] about Seaside residents dominate personal debt league in England and Wales