POLITICS

Austerity 'Worked' And Must Now Be Stopped, Tory MP Nick Boles Tells Philip Hammond

'We now need an age of investment.'

09/11/2017 11:06 GMT | Updated 09/11/2017 11:46 GMT
PA Archive/PA Images

Philip Hammond has been told to end austerity measures in his upcoming Budget in order to prevent the Conservative Party from losing the next election.

Tory MP Nick Boles said on Thursday that the chancellor should recognise “the age of austerity is over, we now need an age of investment”.

Boles, a party moderniser who once called for an electoral pact with the Lib Dems, told BBC Radio 4′s Today programme the Conservatives “cannont expect to be reelected if we have no new story to tell and no new direction”.

Asked if the sharp public sector cuts undertaken by the Conservative governments since 2010 should come to an end, the former skills minister said: “Yes, it’s worked.”

“When we came into government now nearly eight years ago the deficit was 10% of GDP and completely unsustainable and now its 2.6% - which is completely within a normal frame of a running deficit,” he said.

“We should stop trying to cut it any further. We should drop our surplus target. The urgent priority now in the economy is to get productivity up and real wages up.”

Boles said Hammond should now focus on “increasing investment” in the economy.

“So long as you are spending money on investment there is a very good prospect that will generate a return in the economy,” he added.