These are both very alarming figures and are a result of the financial collapse and the attempts to alleviate its effects.
The rescues were largely authorised by the last government and the Bank of England. These involved the creation of £200Bn of new money. Unhappily, such quantitative easing is highly inflationary and may also help asset or commodity bubbles to grow in things of provable value to investors, such as staple foods and fuel.
The present UK government are also using the results of this economic pickle to restructure or remove vast swathes of what we used to know as welfare state spending. The children in the drawing certainly won’t be under employed this year.
Updated: 25th January 2011. The Office for National Statistics reports a 0.5% contraction in the UK economy between October and December. This bad news follows on a speech by Richard Lambert, the retiring head of the Confederation of British Industry, who lamented the lack of a plan for economic growth from the coalition government.