Even without Brexit delays, austerity’s effects will be felt for years to come

Politics Explained: There is bound to be a delay between the spending taps being turned back on and Britons noticing the difference

John Rentoul
Chief Political Commentator
Thursday 06 June 2019 07:56 BST
Theresa May declares 'austerity is over' after decade of cuts

Many things have been postponed until “after Brexit”. Theresa May said she wouldn’t stand down until we had left the EU, and David Cameron said he wouldn’t publish his memoir. Both those events are now going to take place while we are still an EU member, but Adam Hills, presenter of The Last Leg, is still growing his beard and, as far as I know, Jake Berry, the local government minister, is still not drinking.

And Liz Truss, the chief secretary to the Treasury, confirmed today that the end of austerity, too, has been postponed until after the Brexit crisis has been resolved. As we report today, she told a House of Lords committee that the public spending review promised for this autumn is now “unlikely to happen”.

Theresa May said at the Conservative Party conference in October (the one where she danced onto the stage): “A decade after the financial crash, people need to know that the austerity it led to is over.”

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