Austerity isn’t going to pay off our national debt (which if you are interested is £1.5 trillion). We can’t go to our creditors and say “here’s two truck loads of austerity, let’s call it quits”. Money is what pays off the national debt, and specifically having more money coming in than going out. Unfortunately the government doesn’t have more coming in than going out – and that’s what the deficit is.
There are two ways to reduce the deficit, and hopefully turn it in to a surplus – reduce the amount of money going out, and increasing the amount of money coming in. The government is working really hard on reducing the amount of money going out. The main plan is to stop helping poor people, who after all caused the whole financial crisis in the first place by betting on the sub-prime market through complex debt chains. Unfortunately, despite screwing the poor and disabled to the point of death, government spending is actually up a bit. Ooops!
But at least austerity will have driven up employment won’t it? Nope.
In fact austerity has resulted in a large increase in the number of self employed people – driving it to a record high 15%. This is largely because of job losses, which have forced people to work for themselves, and on average they earn half as much money as their employed counterparts. Not just that, they don’t get pensions either, which is a ticking timebomb for the state;
The net result of this is that tax income is down, almost all due to reduced tax coming in from self employed people. So tax income is down, spending is up, leading economists tell us that austerity will never work. But we’ll stick with it anyway. Mwhahaha.