Australia’s national debt has grown rapidly in the past decade and has now past $500 billion.
But who they owe the money to remains a closely guarded secret that the government is unwilling to reveal.
In 2007, gross Australian Government debt was $53.25 billion. But a decade on, it has soared to a staggering $484.6 billion.
By the end of Labor’s term in 2013, the debt had climbed to $274 billion, but since the Liberals came to power, national debt has exploded.
More than half, or 54.9 per cent to be exact, of the national debt is owed to foreigners.
Of that foreign debt, government figures show the largest portion is owed to Asia, followed by Europe then North America.
But the true picture is hidden because foreign entities hide behind their local representatives.
“That helps the foreign banks and sovereign wealth funds disguise the extent to which they own the debt of other countries – Australia as much as any other,” Economist Saul Eslake told 7 News.
He called the rate at which national debt increased over the past 10 years “quite clearly unsustainable”.RMIT’s Sinclair Davidson agreed, saying politicians love spending.
“They love handing out the punchbowl at the party, they don’t like taking the punchbowl away. But bearing in mind the next day when the hangover comes, it’s us ordinary Australians who will be paying back the debt.”
Radio broadcaster Alan Jones agreed, saying our politicians “just keep on spending”.
“How can they go to an election saying ‘We’re the economic managers. Over there, they are the vandals. Don’t worry, we’ve only increased the gross debt by $200 billion since we replaced them’?”
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull denied Australia had cause for concern.
“In terms of the Federal Government’s debt obviously we are in accordance with our budget projections,” he told 7 News today.