In November, I asked this Parliamentary question:
Steven Baker (Wycombe, Conservative)
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how much debt interest has been paid on Government securities held by the Bank of England and its subsidiaries in the last 12 months.
Mark Hoban (Financial Secretary, HM Treasury; Fareham, Conservative)
In the 12 months to end September 2010, the Bank of England and its subsidiaries have received the following interest on holdings of UK Government debt securities:
£ million Banking Department 187 Issue Department 282 Bank of England Asset Purchase Facility Fund Ltd 8,527 Total 8,996
That’s right – the Treasury paid the Bank of England about £9 billion in debt interest.
The time for a six-month update on the figures is soon approaching, so I wondered what TCC readers thought…
Is this just the left and right hands of the State passing money to and fro and should bonds held by the Bank of England be written off? Is it vital those bonds are held so that QE can be “reversed” or is that like, as Mises put it, reversing over the man you just ran down in your car?
Mises also refers to the fact that deflation can never repair the damage of a priori inflation. In his seminar, he often likened such a process to an auto driver who had run over a person and then tried to remedy the situation by backing over the victim in reverse. Inflation so scrambles the changes in wealth and income that it becomes impossible to undo the effects. Then too, deflationary manipulations of the quantity of money are just as destructive of market processes, guided by unhampered market prices, wage rates and interest rates, as are such inflationary manipulations of the quantity of money.
£9bn is about 6% of the annual income tax take.
See also Toby’s An easy £10 bn of deficit reduction and £200 bn off the National Debt. Over to you…