The fact is, as you know, tourists don't flock to this great country to watch the footie, or eat in the restaurants. They come to visit the stately homes, for example. How much are all the volunteers who work in these places worth? Culture, one industry that is actually growing , has always punched above its weight. It is one of the key factors in making the UK the Number One nation in the world for the arts.
With a budget deficit larger than that of Greece, a reduction in public spending is essential if the government wants to achieve sustainable and continuing economic growth. But the ring-fencing of areas of very high government spending has made it much harder for the Chancellor to come remotely close to balancing the books.
The first substantive line of George Osborne's budget speech was: "We've now cut the deficit not by a quarter, but by a third". This might be surprising to anybody who read my earlier blog here, which pointed out that the deficit had (measured on a rolling twelve- month basis) been rising, not falling, for the last year or so.
As the prime minister and leading commentators have been fond of pointing out - and rightly so - employment is now back to pre-crisis levels, making this one of the few economic indicators not keeping the Chancellor up at night. Yet step back from a narrow focus on the number of people in work and the challenge we face on employment is daunting.
Greece's impressive external rebalancing has culminated in the current-account deficit narrowing to 2.9% of GDP in 2012 from almost 15% in 2008. However, this process has mainly relied on a collapse in imports as a result of an ongoing sharp contraction in domestic demand, driven by fiscal austerity.