Austerity ‘coming to an end’ but do the numbers add up?

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The exchequer the right tolerable villopovo the era of austerity is finally coming to an end he said it the era of austerity is finally coming to an end so the chancellor has doubled down on the promise already made by the prime minister now we’ll have to see if the numbers add up and do justice to that claim the end of austerity let’s see we will also harvest

A double-deal dividend a boost from the end of uncertainty and a boost from releasing some of the fiscal headroom that i am holding in reserve at the moment we are confident that we will secure a deal which delivers that dividend it’s quite a clever suddenly rhetorical device for a number of reasons it redeems a bit the language we heard earlier from some of the

Hardcore brexit who’s about a brexit dividend we know there isn’t a brexit dividend the economy will suffer from increasing the distance with the main trading partner in the eu but the chancellor is right to say that if there is now a proper deal given that there’s a lot of uncertainty around that that will make things better than there would be without a deal in

That sense he kind of redeems a language and he can also say it’s really important that the whole party the whole tory party plays along with what the prime minister and the chancellor want so he says if there is a deal then of course they may not need to spend the money he set aside for preparations for a no deal scenario and in the economy because uncertainty

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Will be reduced you’ll probably see new investment new hiring and higher higher growth rate than what we currently expect so this is both clever and it’s important both politically and economically springsteen the chancellor has been given some other good news from the office of budget responsibility they now forecast borrowing to be almost 12 billion pounds

Less this year that had been forecast as recently as the spring statement about half a year ago that’s almost just a little bit less than what my colleague chris charles predicted last week from the published numbers chris usually gets it right but that’s quite a quite a lot of extra money for the chancellor to play with the ovr confirm in 2016-17 at eighty five

Point two percent of gdp and then falls in every year of the forecast again good news for the transfer from from the ob our debt peaked two years ago the debt to gdp ratio and it’s falling and it’s going to be lower in each year than what was previously forecast all of which is not really surprising or unexpected but he plays in very nicely into the narrative of

A conservative government that’s fiscally responsible of course they’ve been in office for a long time this is largely the cycle doing its work but it does really work for the message they want to put across here we see how it’s all coming together economically and politically so the chancellor has just said this is great news to be able to give us a chancellor

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That they will now start growing in real terms of spending on public services departmental spending after as we know pretty much a decade of cuts and he’s also linking this to resolving or finally deciding on the brexit issue and agreeing a deal with the eu that will allow even more money to be released for public services the subtext here of course is to the

Rest of the party don’t scupper this don’t stop it because it’s only through getting this deal that we will be able to also provide the sort of public services that voters like will remain and that is the clear dividing line in british politics today so the main message on which they are trying now to fight against the opposition is that austerity is coming to

An end thanks to what the conservatives have done and this extra money that’s coming thanks to good news on the economy he’s using to the best effect he can some more money for quite a lot of different public services that have experienced strong cuts but also something for traditional conservative causes like defense and finally a commitment not to increase taxes

Little tweaks here and there some cleaning up of loopholes that are very welcome but the chancellor is not accepting the advice of many independent analysts that in the future a solid provision of public services will require somewhat higher tax levels clearly not going down that route so that is pretty traditional conservative message with a kind of compassionate

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Conservatism added in which he can do with the extra good news on the economy and the public finances so there is clearly at the end of an era of ever deeper cuts is it actually going to feel like the end of austerity to enough voters next time they go to the polls that’s still not quite

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Austerity 'coming to an end' but do the numbers add up? By Financial Times

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