Bill to cap UK public debt levels draws support of grandees

ELEVEN highly respected backbench MPs have signed up to sponsor a bill that would cap the UK’s national debt as a percentage of GDP, legally forbidding the government from racking up IOUs above a certain level.

The MPs acting as sponsor to a bill put together by former Deutsche Bank managing director Sajid Javid MP (pictured) include four members of the influential Treasury Select Committee (TSC) – Mark Garnier, Andrea Leadsom, David Ruffley and Jesse Norman – as well as former chief treasury secretary David Laws.

The private members’ bill successfully passed its first reading yesterday, with only Labour MP John Mann, also a member of the TSC, opposing it. It will go to a second reading in January next year.

Javid said that the bill “will, at the very minimum, force a national conversation where previously there has been only stealth and obfuscation” regarding excessive government spending.

Although it is not official government policy, it is understood that the bill has been given a nod from the Treasury. The other sponsors include John Redwood, and former advisers to George Osborne, Matthew Hancock and Clare Perry.