As many people will point out; cuts and austerity applied to a weak economy will result in the economy failing to grow, reduce tax revenue and end up costing the country more in the long term than spending money to strengthen the economy would.
Aside from that argument though, individual cuts the government have been making are repeatedly being shown to be incurring costs in the long term:
The huge hotel bills that Westminister Council have incurred to house those made homeless by housing benefit cuts are a case in point. Whilst there is a wider argument that spending to build more houses would simultaneously create jobs and stimulate the economy, whilst bringing down rents and the housing benefit bill with it.
The DWP’s ridiculous system for testing to see if the disabled can work or not has also run into criticism for the costs of overturned decisions and the £100m+ contract Atos hold to conduct their discredited work capability assessments stands as a monument to the stupidity of outsourcing.
Though they’ve recently pledged more funds for flood defences, this extra money is still well short of the levels of funding under Labour’s spending plans. As has been pointed out; flood defence spending is a case in point for saving money in the long run, with a potential return of £8 for every pound spent.
And these are but three examples of direct policies where short term cuts are leading to long term costs. The adage ‘you’ve got to spend money to make money’ may be simplistic, but where good policy is concerned, it can often be the case. Alas, the government’s short term goals of cuts and redistribution of wealth from poor to rich means we’re looking at a lost decade of growth – sorry – an entirely preventable lost decade of growth…