‘Debt interest isn’t worrying!’ Portillo dismisses Neil claims but warns of ‘game changer’

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Michael Portillo has argued that Britain’s debt levels are “not too worrying” as the GB News guest disagreed with host Andrew Neil over the financial state of the country. Mr Portillo joined Mr Neil after Chancellor Rishi Sunaks received a grilling from the veteran interviewer over the Britain borrowing. Mr Portillo noted that debt repayments amounted to only five percent of Government borrowing but did identify one factor as a potential “game-changer.”

Mr Portillo: “I think you can argue that the debt interest that we have at the moment which I think is just over £40 billion out of public spending of just over £800 billion.

“So by my calculation is about five percent is actually not to worrying.

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He added: “I think you mentioned during the course of the interview that you think it might double to £80 billion which would be approximately ten percent of public spending and you could argue that even that was not too worrying.”

However, the former Conservative minister added that inflation at the potential to be a “game-changer.”

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Earlier in the exchange, Mr Neil said: “It is interesting now that a British Chancellor of the Exchequer if you ask them if you are worried about inflation.

“Can now say well that is nothing to do with me gov that is the bank’s job.

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“I mean people will find that a little bit strange because inflation is a very important economic phenomenon.

“It is,” replied Mr Portillo, “And is it of course potentially the game-changer.”

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“£4 billion coincidentally is money he chopped off the overseas aid.”

He continued: “£4 billion I suppose is about the same amount as the money he was boasting about that he has put into education one way or another.

“I speak as a pensioner quite a well off one I will say, I very much doubt whether pensioners expect a six percent or an eight percent rise.

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“So if he doesn’t bite that one firmly one it comes around later in the year one would be pretty worried.”

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