On the basis of this report, Labour's 'fiscal profligacy' just ahead of the recession would seem to have been on a very limited scale, and charges that the Coalition is tackling 'Labour's debt' and 'Labour's deficits', or that Labour let spending run out of control before the recession, do not stack up.

The Coalition government has sought to blame its Labour predecessor for Britain's current fiscal position. There have also been accusations that the deficit was, at least in part, due to excessive spending by the last Labour government even before the recession of 2008 and 2009.

This note looks at the numbers on debt, deficits and spending (relative to GDP) - over time in the UK and comparing the UK with other developed economies.