@Sluffy wrote:If we could go back and do things differently the government would - we all would
You honestly believe this? Austerity was a political choice, i think you are way out of touch with politics in this country if you do believe this.
Or you just automatically politically prejudice against the government?
After all even after 10 years of austerity the country decided to vote the government back into power in 2019 and give Labour (with it's anti-austerity stance) it's greatest election defeat since 1935!!!
Would they have done 'austerity' in hindsight, now looking back? Maybe, maybe not - that's what hindsight and retrospective views are about - fwiw I think anyone would rather than see 100,000 of it's population killed just to stick with political/economic thinking at the time - but Germany still thinks it is the right policy apparently -Germany to return to austerity after coronavirus crisis - ministerhttps://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-germany-altmaier/germany-to-return-to-austerity-after-coronavirus-crisis-minister-idUSKBN21B0QN
...and they are the financial powerhouse of Europe and widely praised for how they've dealt with the pandemic.
Anyway, a potted summary of Government austerity policy and reasons seen for it taken from Wiki. All the reference documents underlying the wiki article to look at if you turn your nose up at the accuracy of what wiki is saying.History
A UK government budget surplus in 2001–2 was followed by many years of budget deficit and after the financial crisis of 2007–2008 a period of economic recession began in the country. The first austerity measures were introduced in late 2008. In 2009, the term age of austerity, which had previously been used to describe the years immediately following World War II, was popularised by Conservative Party leader David Cameron. In his keynote speech to the Conservative Party forum in Cheltenham on 26 April 2009 he declared that "the age of irresponsibility is giving way to the age of austerity" and committed to end years of what he characterised as excessive government spending. Conservative Party leaders also promoted the idea of budget cuts bringing about the Big Society, a political ideology involving reduced government, with grass-roots organizations, charities and private companies delivering public services more efficiently.
The austerity programme was initiated in 2010 by the Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government. In his June 2010 budget speech, the Chancellor George Osborne identified two goals. The first was that the structural current budget deficit would be eliminated to "achieve [a] cyclically-adjusted current balance by the end of the rolling, five-year forecast period". The second was that national debt as a percentage of GDP would be falling. The government intended to achieve both of its goals through substantial reductions in public expenditure. This was to be achieved by a combination of public spending reductions and tax increases amounting to £110 billion. The end of the forecast period was 2015–16.
Between 2010 and 2013, the Coalition government said that it had reduced public spending by £14.3 billion compared with 2009–10. Growth remained low during this period, while unemployment rose. In a speech in 2013, David Cameron indicated that his government had no intention of increasing public spending once the structural deficit had been eliminated and proposed that the public spending reduction be made permanent. In 2014, the Treasury extended the proposed austerity period until at least 2018. By 2015, the deficit, as a percentage of GDP, had been reduced to half of what it was in 2010, and the sale of government assets (mostly the shares of banks nationalised in the 2000s) had resulted in government debt as a proportion of GDP falling. By 2016, the Chancellor was aiming to deliver a budget surplus by 2020, but following the result of the 2016 United Kingdom European Union membership referendum, he expressed the opinion that this goal was no longer achievable.
Osborne's successor as Chancellor, Philip Hammond, retained the aim of a balanced budget but abandoned plans to eliminate the deficit by 2020. In Hammond's first Autumn statement in 2016, there was no mention of austerity, and some commentators concluded that the austerity programme had ended. However, in February 2017, Hammond proposed departmental budget reductions of up to 6% for the year 2019–20, and Hammond's 2017 budget continued government policies of freezing working-age benefits. Following the 2017 snap general election, Hammond confirmed in a speech at Mansion House that the austerity programme would be continued and Michael Fallon, the Secretary of State for Defence, commented: "we all understand that austerity is never over until we've cleared the deficit". Government spending reductions planned for the period 2017–2020 are consistent with some departments, such as the Department for Work and Pensions and the Ministry of Justice, experiencing funding reductions of approximately 40% in real terms over the decade 2010–2020. During 2017 an overall budget surplus on day-to-day spending was achieved for the first time since 2001. This fulfilled one of the fiscal targets set by George Osborne in 2010, which he had hoped to achieve in 2015.
In 2018 the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) predicted that in 2018–19 public sector debt would fall as a share of national income for the first time since 2001–02, while tax revenues would exceed public spending. Hammond's 2018 Spring Statement suggested that austerity measures could be reduced in the Autumn Budget of that year. However, according to the Resolution Foundation and the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS), the OBR's forecasts for borrowing and debt were based on the assumption that the government continued with the planned spending reductions that were announced after the 2015 general election. By 2018 only 25% of the proposed reductions in welfare spending had been implemented. The Resolution Foundation calculated that the proposed reduction in spending on working-age benefits amounted to £2.5 billion in 2018–19 and £2.7 billion in 2019–20, with the households most affected being the poorest 20%. The IFS calculated that the OBR's figures would require spending on public services per person in real terms to be 2% lower in 2022–23 than in 2019–20.
The deficit in the first quarter of the 2018–19 financial year was lower than at any time since 2007 and by August 2018 it had reached the lowest level since 2002–3. Hammond's aim at this time was to eliminate the deficit entirely by the mid-2020s. At the Conservative Party conference in October 2018 Prime Minister Theresa May indicated her intention to end the austerity programme following Brexit in 2019 and opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn said that austerity could not be ended without significant increases in public spending. The IFS calculated that funding an end to austerity would require an additional £19 billion per year raised through higher government borrowing or tax increases. Hammond's preference was to reduce the national debt with more years of austerity but in the October 2018 budget he agreed to defer the target date for eliminating the deficit, abandoning plans to achieve a surplus in 2022–23 to allow an increase in health spending and tax cuts. The Resolution Foundation described the step as a "significant easing of austerity". Hammond said that the "era of austerity is finally coming to an end" but that there would be no "real terms" increase in public spending apart from on the NHS.https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Kingdom_government_austerity_programme