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Pre-programmed austerity: the cuts yet to bite

The government signals light at the end of the tunnel but the system is already loaded with further cutbacks

By Carys Roberts and Mary Reader  

Former chancellor George Osborne has pre-loaded austerity into the system. Photo: Victoria Jones/PA Archive/PA Images

There has been a lot of hot air about the “end of austerity” since the Conservatives’ unexpectedly poor general election result. Chancellor Phillip Hammond has reassured us that “there is light at the end of the tunnel.”

But there is a crucial point here that is underappreciated. Even if no new cuts are made, many future cuts planned by George Osborne have been pre-programmed into the system. Even if the government does nothing, these pre-loaded…

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