Brexit just a useful excuse.
“… In his annual budget in November, Hammond loosened the government’s purse-strings, giving support to the economy as it slowed ahead of Brexit. However, rising healthcare spending leaves little spare for other public services, the IFS said.
“This suggests yet more years of austerity for many public services — albeit at a much slower pace than the last nine years,” IFS research economist Ben Zaranko said.
Public services outside of health, defence and overseas aid saw budgets fall by an average of 3 percent a year in real terms after 2010, and now look set for declines of 0.4 percent a year in inflation-adjusted terms going forward, the IFS predicts.
“The (finance minister) has said that the Spending Review will take place in 2019, and that is the right moment for government to make long term funding decisions,” a spokesman from the finance ministry said in a statement.
“Outside the (health service), total day to day departmental spending is now set to grow in line with inflation, and public investment will reach levels not sustained in 40 years in this parliament.”
Due largely to the global financial crisis, Britain’s budget deficit peaked at nearly 10 percent of gross domestic product in 2009/10 — one of the highest in the world at the time — but is roughly on track to drop to 1.2 percent this year. …”