Since the late 17th century, when the National Debt – effectively today’s public sector net debt (PSND) – was virtually nil, it has fluctuated widely, with financing various wars being the key factor. It soared on the back of the Napoleonic Wars, before falling during much of the 19th century, until World Wars 1 and 2 saw it reach record levels.
PSND first passed the £1tr mark as recently as 2011. Over the intervening decade, this figure has more than doubled. In short, it took over three centuries for PSND to reach £1tr and less than the last decade for it to double.
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