Kate Andrews writes for City AM
Both parties have been kicking the tough decisions down the road for years, unable to admit to the public that the current set-up is fundamentally unsustainable. One of the biggest mistakes former chancellor George Osborne made – right up there with the sugar tax – was to proudly wear the “badge of austerity” while not actually enacting it.
During the coalition government, real spending fell by just 0.5 per cent a year. Osborne barely trimmed, let alone slashed, government spending – yet he gave the public the false impression that they were bearing the brunt of austerity, for the reward of stable finances in a few years’ time.
The result in 2018: a government that widely spends above its means, and a public that is no longer willing to tolerate “austerity”, having been sold the lie that it was taking place for nearly eight years.
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