Six and a half years on - the amount of government borrowing and the deficit has been reduced as spending gradually aligns with revenue:
However, overall debt is still rising.
Austerity came after a period of massive spending under Labour, summed up with the infamous note left by then-Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Liam Byrne, which simply read:
“I'm afraid there is no money.”
While Byrne later said he would “regret for ever” the incident, the Tories have held the note aloft as evidence that austerity, though brutal, has and will continue to be necessary.
Here’s what we’ve lost to make it this far...