Responding to today’s Budget statement, Fran Boait, executive director of Positive Money said:
“Today’s Budget is simply a dishonest Budget. Not only has the Chancellor failed to deliver on the end of austerity promised by his government, but he’s also continued to be dishonest about the necessity of austerity in the first place.
“Beyond the government’s spin, austerity is far from over for most people in Britain. Schools, hospitals and other vital services remain underfunded and overburdened, while the imminent rollout of universal credit will wreak further financial havoc on households whose benefits are staying frozen.
“Philip Hammond claims the pain of the past eight years was driven by necessity, not ideology. But austerity was an ideology based on false comparisons between government budgets and household budgets, and a fruitless obsession with targeting a surplus. The Chancellor could easily put an end to austerity by doing away with these dangerous mistruths and taking up his responsibility to invest in our future. He just has to decide whether he is more wedded to defending a failed ideology than the interests of the country.”
On the Chancellor’s promise to abolish the use of PFI (the private finance initiative), Boait said:
“It is welcome that the Chancellor is finally ending the PFI rip-off and the outsourcing of public investment to a profiteering private sector, for which the Carillion debacle served as a cautionary tale. The government can afford to borrow at a cheaper rate than anyone else in Britain. Governments should take advantage of that privilege instead of burdening the taxpayer with eyewatering interest bills to private firms.”