George Osborne: Don’t change course on austerity

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Former chancellor George Osborne has urged the government not to change its economic strategy after being left without a Commons majority.

Mr Osborne’s newspaper editorial said a so-called “end to austerity” would likely lead to a “loss of economic credibility”.

Earlier Michael Gove, the fresh environment secretary, said ministers had to listen to public concern about how services are funded.

The Tories need Democratic Unionist Party support to stay in power.

The DUP can be committed to lobbying for extra cash for public services in Northern Ireland along with promised in its manifesto to “resist any assault” on universal benefits along with to maintain the “triple lock” on pensions which Theresa May planned to scale back before the election.

This specific also opposes the so-called bedroom tax along with wants to abolish air passenger duty along with cut VAT for tourism businesses.

The Tories lost their majority after Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, who based his campaign on ending austerity, defied predictions along with gained 30 seats.

Former MP Gavin Barwell, who lost his marginal seat, told Panorama Labour had “tapped into” concerns about the impact of years of public sector pay freezes.

Mr Barwell has since been appointed as Mrs May’s chief of staff.

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Media captionGavin Barwell on the reasons for his defeat

Mr Osborne, who implemented deep spending cuts during his six years inside Treasury, abandoned his bid to restore government finances to a surplus by 2020 shortly before leaving office.

His deficit reduction targets have been relaxed by his successor Philip Hammond.

An editorial inside London Evening Standard, which he edits, said: “Talk of ‘an end to austerity’ can be code for ‘we’re going to allow the deficit to rise, along with we don’t care’.

“of which would likely risk repeating the mistakes of the past of which led Britain to the point where there was, inside words of of which Treasury letter, ‘no money left’.”

This specific added: “The government already has enough on its plate. A loss of economic credibility would likely make those problems a whole lot worse.”

Mr Osborne, who was sacked as chancellor by Mrs May when she became PM, has repeatedly criticised Mrs May since the election result.


Asked on the Today programme whether the government could change course, Mr Gove said ministers had to “reflect on what the election result told us about the way of which people want to see the economy managed inside future”.

He said there was a need to ensure public spending was kept at a sustainable level although stressed of which “we also need to take account of legitimate public concerns about ensuring of which we properly fund public services inside future”.

Speaking on the BBC’s Daily Politics, Tory MP Dominic Grieve said austerity had been a necessity after the 2008 financial crash, although warned against This specific becoming “a state of semi-permanence”.

He said the government should not be “chucking billions of pounds at public services” along with said “turning the tap on” on public spending could undermine wealth creation.

although he added: “The question can be develop the limits of reasonableness been reached with the electorate.”

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