Explained: Government debt
A debt represents something, whether a payment or otherwise, that is owed by one party to another. Government Debt (also referred to as public debt or national debt), is used to refer to the total accumulated debts, owed by a government, to other parties. While Government Debt tends to refer to the debt of a specific national or provincial government, Public Debt, on the other hand, refers to the combined total of the two.
Alternatively, a Government Deficit refers to the difference between government receipts (revenue) and spending in a single year. Generally speaking, if deficits are consistently positive (surpluses) the debt will decrease, whereas if the deficits are consistently negative, the debt will increase.