THE BLOG
27/03/2015 11:51 GMT | Updated 27/05/2015 06:59 BST

Generation Screwed

"We're paying down our debts!" You'll hear that a lot during the Election. Politicians might be playing with words, but the words hide a nasty truth - the national debt has rocketed up, year after year.

A poll back in 2012 showed that just 6 per cent realised that the debt was going up. But can you blame people for thinking it is coming down when politicians tell us it's coming down?

The reality is frightening: the national debt has already reached a staggering £1.4 trillion. That is enough to build 1,750 Wembley Stadiums around the country. If you piled it up in £20 notes, it would be the equivalent of 1,052 Mount Everests.

Who will pay it off? The young and the unborn, through higher tax bills. Because public sector debt is simply deferred taxation.

Tomorrow the TaxPayers' Alliance is launching Generation Screwed - a campaign to wake young people up to the size and scale of the national debt that is being run up in their names. We're holding a demo at the Bank of England with a group of students and young people this afternoon at 5.45 - in conjunction with the Liberty League conference.

Already lumbered with £22,000-worth of our national debt, young people face an effective tax rate of some 48 per cent on low incomes. On top of all that, politicians' collective failure to liberalise planning has caused a housing crisis that makes getting on the housing ladder almost impossible.

After the Greatest Generation, the Baby Boomers, Generation X and the Millennials, today's young people look set to be Generation Screwed unless politicians take action. With less than six weeks until the election, politicians should stop treating young people as a youthful but silent cash cow of borrowed money, just because they don't cast as many votes as the elderly.

Right now, the national debt equates to more than £20,000 per person, nearly £50,000 per household and an absolutely terrifying £100,000 per child in the UK. Horrifyingly, that's not even the true extent to which taxpayers are on the hook. TPA Research Fellow, Mike Denham, crunched the numbers and found that the real national debt could be as high as £9 trillion. That's because the official calculations do not include the liabilities for public sector pensions or the state pension, not to mention deals done under PFI, nuclear decommissioning, bank bailouts and Network Rail.

The interest we have to pay on that debt is enormous too. Soon, more will be spent servicing our debts than will be spent on education; all the more reason for young people to be angry. And we're actually in a good phase, relatively speaking: interest rates are low, but gilt yields are likely to rise - and when they do, every pound of debt will become a lot more expensive.

It's one of the most important issues the country faces - the need to truly tackle the national debt. It's something that young people should be furious about, as they're the ones who will pay tomorrow for the promises made by today's politicians.