(Please see UPDATE at end)
My posts here will be even more sporadic than usual for the next day or two as I absolutely MUST knuckle-down and get my tax filing completed as the dead-line for submitting paper returns is at the end of October. I've actually had all the raw data input into my own semi-automated spreadsheets for two or three months now, so all the sub-totals are just to be plucked out and added to the form, but I've had other more attractive outlets for my time which have diverted me from getting on with it, quite apart from the fact that seeing so much tax-payer money being squandered by the government in the past few weeks (on completely counter-productive financial sector rescue packages, etc) that I wasn't inclined to rush to get the form done. However, as I don't care to do it online yet I do now only have a few days left so the evil task cannot be put off any longer.
Incidentally, I have been startled over the last week to see/hear several Ministers spout the 'lie' that UK borrowing as a proportion of GDP is now lower than it was in 1997, or indeed at any time in the past! Statistics can prove anything, but it's all those pesky off-balance sheet items (which I seem to recall hearing that the Office of National Statistics isn't entirely happy with) on PFI and other accounting 'wheezes' that have allowed our former Chancellor and current Prime Minister Gordon Brown to 'spin' this notion.
Until later this week then ...
UPDATE: (Tuesday 21OCT08 07.25 BST) Excellent article by Fraser Nelson in the Spectator blog about the nonsense of putting the bail-out/nationalisation of Northern Rock off the balance sheet! This is how the lie that national debt is only 37 per cent has been 'achieved'.