Has Austerity Failed?Austerity is a controversial topic especially with thecurrent arguments about Brexit. We see that now many of the public arebeginning to disagree with the Conservative party’s politics concerning theissue. However there is still a lot of support for the cuts, as people dobelieve that it is the best course of action for the country on a whole toreduce the debt that Britain has. So, which is the better choice, to remove theidea of Austerity as many are suggesting and increase taxes or to keep cuttingat public spending to reduce the deficit?Austerity was partially introduced in the late 2008; howeverthe programme was introduced in 2010 by the coalition government between theConservatives and the Liberal democrats. During the first year of austeritythere was a deficit of 9.
3% of GPD which was less than the previous year whichhad a deficit of 11% of GDP. With a budget deficit of £52 billion theconservatives answered this by saying that by 2015 and 1026 the budget deficitwould have been eliminated thanks to austerity, they also pledged to havenational debt as a percentage of GDP lowering, these goals were identified byGeorge Osborne, in June 2010. However we are now in 2018 and we see that neither of thesegoals has been achieved. Our structural budget deficit has not been eliminatedand although national debt as a percentages falling we see that it has haddangerous implications on the public. Cuts in public spending have beenimpacting many groups of people to a large extent. In 2011, 270,000 publicsector jobs were cut thanks to austerity measures, this is poor, as we see thatnot only is this deficit still huge but that instead of the government, thepublic are paying for it, especially women, men of colour and most of all womenof colour have been effected by these job cuts as was found from research bythe Runnymede Trust and Women’s budget group in 2016. People who claimed benefits were affected by the cuts asthey received less and had to use food and cloth banks. However it wasn’t onlythese people but Nurses who also had to use food banks thanks to cuts in thesocial care, the people who care for us, who look after us when we are sick andinjured aren’t even paid enough to have a decent meal.
Many Nurses also quit their jobs due to beingpaid so little, this accounted for 10% of the deaths that have been linked withausterity measures, the total being 120,000.Even mental health trusts inEngland had their budgets cut, this lead to a report by the NatCen socialresearch for UNISON showing that LGBT people have suffered from a lack ofaccess to mental health services due to Austerity. At what point is it a crimeagainst the public when they are taking away help for those who need it,mentally and physically.
This also points to my previous statement about the120,000 deaths linked with austerity. This number is far too high, and no whilenot all of them can be directly attributed to Austerity measures, we see thatthis number is due to public housing cuts, mental health cuts, job cuts andbenefit sanctions that have destroyed peoples’ lives. However there is not much of an alternative that hasn’talready been considered. With the country in such massive debt there is noother choice than to make these cuts in order to remove the budget deficit andnational debt. While the promised time of success has been prolonged, we haveseen a huge drop in internet spending, and national debt since 2010.
With thecuts to public spending we have seen that rather than piling more debt on topof what we already have is a horrible move as we currently have no true way toremove the debt other than austerity and we see that although slowly austerityis working. With the promise of national debt having been eliminated by 2025 wesee hope in the fact that austerity is giving us an answer to the country’sproblems. As we see that the Annual UK borrowing decreasing from £153 billionto £57 billion.So, while I do think that some of the cuts made thanks toausterity are ridiculous and dangerous I do see austerity as benefitting us inthe future as we do decrease our national debt.
We are not going to survive asa country with spending more money than we earn as a country and due to a lackof other measures austerity has been left as the only solution, and since ithas decreased our national debt there is a strong argument for saying that ithasn’t failed as it has fulfilled part of what was promised when austerity wasintroduced and is continuing