Deja vu

I was reading yesterday about the abolition of slavery (as appropriate as anything else for New Year’s Day) and was struck by the fact that twenty million pounds was paid in ‘compensation’ to the plantation owners for the loss of their property, much to the disgust of anti-slavery campaigners and the British public. According to the rather useful website measuringworth.com, £20m in 1833, when the Act was passed is the equivalent of £1.5 billion now if you use the RPI, around £16 billion relative to average earnings or £61 billion as the equivalent share of GDP. Ring any New Year bells?