Andy Richardson: Austerity, of one form or another, will return

We’re kicking the can down the road. Curiously, it’s the most sensible thing to do.

Rishi Sunak
Rishi Sunak

As UK debt spirals to unprecedented levels, reminiscent of that during the two world wars, there are no immediate plans to tackle it.

It will, however, have to be faced down. Tax rises and spending cuts are inevitable.

Quite which route Rishi Sunak prefers remains to be seen. In a Government that habitually fails the competence test, he’s one of the few who gets most things right.

He’s promised no return to austerity while the fella next door, BoZo, has pledged to level up. Both cannot be true.

We can’t save money while spending it in the North and the Midlands. We can’t recover debt while paying for stuff that we can’t afford. Austerity, of one form or another, will return.

There’ll be an almighty tussle if the Government presses ahead with plans to freeze public sector pay, however, as many on the front line against Covid face an effective reduction in their wages.

The threat of strikes are the last thing we need as we pick ourselves up from the most cataclysmic event we’ve faced since in 75 years.

With interest rates low and with Governments around the world facing similar hard choices, for now the debt pay off can wait.

Though, as the vaccine starts to roll out, and as the UK starts to dust itself down in 2021, such issues will move towards the top of the agenda.

The health crisis will pass, the economic crisis will take far longer to deal with.

Thankfully, there’s a decent Minister at the helm; a rarity in an obsequious Cabinet picked for its willingness to tug the forelock of the PM.

The here and now is what matters for businesses and while they will be breathing a sigh of relief that trade can recommence from next week, the future remains uncertain for many.

There are most likely another four months of hard yards ahead of us as the infection rate remains too high and as tiering remains our weapon of choice, pre-vaccine.

On Twitter, users were asked to pick a film title to reflect the friendship between BoZo and the flippin’ useless Priti.

The winner, former Bake Off host Sue Perkins, with Bully Liar.

At least we’re not living in America under Trump, where firebrand Sidney Powell has made bizarre claims that the late Hugo Chavez was behind his defeat.

The golf-playing Tango Man will be out the door soon, no matter how hard he and his cultish followers throw their toys out of the pram.

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