The UK economy has continued to decline, with the FTSE 100 Index dropping by 5.7%, as world markets fell sharply.

According to a special live BBC Panorama program on Thursday evening, Government Debt has risen to £684bn, and will continue to rise at a staggering £80,000 per minute. 

Furthermore, bonuses in the City to workers last year totalled £17bn, according to presenter Jeremy Vine, who added 'how much of this is taxpayers money?' Should bonuses be paid to those bankers of Northern Rock, who are now demanding money back from the taxpayers in loans, when it is them who put people in turmoil originally?

The People

With the current crisis leaving nationwide panic, the BBC Panorama progam asked people across the UK about the credit crunch.

Here are the reactions from those interviewed on their current situation after the financial crisis:


"I've worked all my life and I feel the experts have put us in to the current mess and I'm angry as it's my money they've played with."

Graham Middleton, Company Director.


"I never envisaged I'd have to sell my house. I really thought I could give my daughter something in the future."

Simeon Brown, Support Worker.


"I can't believe how the shares have gone down. I hoped everything would pick up and be fine."

"It's not fair, as big companies aren't helping us. We're just suffering."

Christine Holmes, Community Support Nurse.


"When you've got a small business, you've got no money. You have no safety net, where no one bails you out."

Hilda, Cafe worker. 

The Expert Opinion 

Entrepenurial expert Sir Alan Sugar commented that the current situation appears bleak for most businesses. Speaking to Jeremy Vine, Sugar said: "It is very difficult to throw any encouragement or fast-track solution to the situation."

"Bricklaying is one of the few industries which as a business will be secure, but everyone must hang in and hope the other commerical people in the world will get mortgages going."

"Recessions and booms, you can talk about them, but you don't know where you are."

"It is unthinkable to hear even Barclays shuddering and Lloyds Bank needing loans."

Dr Ross Allman, a pensions and savings expert, added: "If you've invested in the stock market and your pension has gone down, you have to invest and keep working, or realise you have a lot less money to live on than you thought you would have."

"The biggest problem for people is the government told us there would not be a boom and bust. People weren't expecting such carnage."

"If people can't find money for mortgages, they're going to struggle."

BBC Business Editor, Robert Peston, who has extensively covered the crisis, said: "There is an extent to which we were living in a fantasy world. Investors were valuing really poor quality loans, as good quality."

Peston added: "Businesses and consumers are suffering due to banks not wanting to lend, and this is due to poor confidence.

"We've somehow got to give banks greater confidence to lend."

Asked whether people should cash in their pensions, Peston said: "People should never cash in their pensions whether in a financial crisis, or not."



Panorama provides financial insight