UK to repay final debts of First World War
In an historic announcement, the Chancellor has said that the Treasury will repay all the nation’s First World War debt by redeeming the outstanding £1.9 billion of 3½% War Loan on Monday 9 March 2015. The Bond was issued in 1932 by the then Chancellor Neville Chamberlain to refinance debts run up during the war.
More than 120,000 people hold the 3.5% war bond, making it the most widely held government gilt. Around 97,000 of these investors hold less than £1,000, while almost 38,000 have less than £100. The Debt Management Office has calculated that the country has paid around £5.5bn in interest on the war bonds since 1917.
The Chancellor also indicated that the Government will repay perpetual debts that date back as far as the South Sea Bubble crisis in 1720 where it is deemed value for money to do so.
The Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne said:
‘This is a moment for Britain to be proud of. We can, at last, pay off the debts Britain incurred to fight the First World War. It is a sign of our fiscal credibility and it’s a good deal for this generation of taxpayers. It’s also another fitting way to remember that extraordinary sacrifice of the past.’