Opinion: With austerity coming to an end we can invest locally
PUBLISHED: 08:30 09 November 2019
We have been in "austerity" for the last nine years, resulting in government cuts and squeezes on public services. The reason is because the Conservative government led by David Cameron inherited the largest national debt since WW2.
Labour politicians, including councillors blame the "Tory government". No mention of the massive loans taken out by the previous Labour government, which would have to have been paid back, whoever was in government.
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The only other course would have been for the government to borrow more money from the International Monetary Fund, but assuming that they would have advanced the funds, it would probably have come with some with some very severe restrictions.
If you are old enough to remember the 1970s when former Labour prime minister, James Callaghan went to the IMF to bail Britain out. The conditions set by the IMF, brought huge cuts to services, rapid inflation and continuous strikes which led to the so called "Winter of Discontent".
Of course no government wants to introduce cuts to services and public funding, but government has a responsibility to manage the public purse, borrow and spend accordingly and responsibly.
We are now told that the era of austerity and cuts is nearly over. Prudence, good fiscal management and housekeeping has led to a considerable reduction in the national debt and with it reduced interest payments. The result is that there are more government funds available to give grants to local councils and other essential services.