The chancellor must end austerity now – it is punishing an entire generation

The chancellor must end austerity now – it is punishing an entire generation

Alongside the human costs, cuts have hurt our economy, and we’ve now reached a dangerous tipping point, say Joseph Stiglitz, Ha-Joon Chang and 111 others

Letters, The Guardian, 19 November 2017, GMT

Seven years of austerity has destroyed lives. An estimated 30,000 excess deaths can be linked to cuts in NHS spending and the social care crisis in 2015 alone. The number of food parcels given to impoverished Britons has grown from tens of thousands in 2010 to over a million.

Children are suffering from real-terms spending cuts in up to 88% of schools. The public sector pay cap has meant that millions of workers are struggling to make ends meet.

Alongside the mounting human costs, austerity has hurt our economy. The UK has experienced its weakest recovery on record and suffers from poor levels of investment, leading to low productivity and falling wages. This government has missed every one of its own debt reduction targets because austerity simply doesn’t work.

The case for cuts has been grounded in ideology and untruths. We’ve been told public debt is the outcome of overspending on public services rather than bailing out the banks. We’ve been told that while the government can find money for the DUP, we cannot afford investment in public services and infrastructure. We’ve been told that unless we “tighten our belts” we’ll saddle future generations with debt – but it’s the onslaught of cuts that is punishing an entire generation.

Given the unprecedented economic uncertainty posed by Brexit negotiations and the private sector’s failure to invest, we cannot risk exacerbating an already anaemic recovery with further public spending cuts. We’ve reached a dangerous tipping point. Austerity has failed the British people and the British economy. We demand the chancellor ends austerity now.

Joseph Stiglitz Professor, Columbia University
Ha-Joon Chang Professor, University of Cambridge
David Graeber Professor of anthropology, LSE
Ann Pettifor Director, Prime Economics
Danny Dorling Professor, University of Oxford
Saskia Sassen Professor, Columbia University
Sir Richard Jolly Emeritus professor, Institute of Development Studies
Mike Savage Co-director of International Inequalities Institute, London School of Economics
David Blanchflower Professor of economics, Dartmouth College
Richard Murphy Director of Tax Research UK, University of London
Kate Pickett Professor of epidemiology, University of York
Richard G Wilkinson Emeritus professor of public health, University of Nottingham
Beverley Skeggs Academic director of International Inequalities Institute Atlantic fellows programme, LSE
Diane Elson Emeritus professor, University of Essex
Frances Stewart Director for research on inequality, human security and ethnicity, University of Oxford
Simon Wren-Lewis Professor of economic policy, Blavatnik School of Government, University of Oxford
Malcolm Sawyer Emeritus professor of economics, University of Leeds
Victoria Chick Emeritus professor of economics, University College London
John Weeks Emeritus professor of economics, Soas
Gurminder Bhambra Professor of sociology, Warwick University
Jason Hickel Department of anthropology, Goldsmiths University of London
Özlem Onaran Department of international business and economics, University of Greenwich
Howard Reed Director, Landman Economics
Valpy FitzGerald Emeritus professor of international development finance, University of Oxford
Ruth Pearson Emeritus professor, University of Leeds
Len McCluskey General secretary, Unite
David Prentis General secretary, Unison
Tim Roache General secretary, GMB
Mark Serwotka General secretary, PCS
Manuel Cortes General secretary, TSSA
Sally Hunt General Secretary, UCU
Kevin Courtney Co-general secretary, NEU
Mary Bousted Co-general secretary, NEU
Ronnie Draper General secretary, BFAWU
Horace Trubridge General secretary, MU
Dave Ward General secretary, CWU
Mick Whelan General secretary, Aslef
Doug Nicholls General secretary, General Federation of Trade Unions
Matt Wrack General secretary, Fire Brigade’s Union
Shakira Martin General secretary, NUS
Janet Davies General secretary, Royal College of Nurses
Radical Housing Network
UK Uncut
Sam Tarry President, Class
Faiza Shaheen Director, CLASS
Omar Khan Director, Runnymede Trust
Mary-Ann Stephenson Co-director, Women’s Budget Group
David Hillman Chair, Robin Hood Tax
Asad Rehman Director, War on Want
Sarah-Jayne Clifton Director, Jubilee Debt Campaign
Sam Fairbairn National secretary, People’s Assembly Against Austerity
Linda Burnip Founder, Disabled People against Cuts
Fran Boait Executive director, Positive Money
Will Snell Director, Tax Justice UK
Miatta Fahnbulleh Chief executive, New Economics Foundation
Kayleigh Garthwaite Fellow, department of social policy, sociology and criminology, University of Birmingham
Ruth Patrick Postdoctoral researcher, School of Law and Social Justice, University of Liverpool
Tracey Jensen Lecturer in media and cultural studies, Lancaster University
Stewart Lansley Visiting fellow, Bristol University
Andrew Cumbers Professor, Adam Smith Business School
Prem Sikka Professor of accounting, University of Essex
Christine Cooper Professor of accounting and finance, University of Strathclyde
Jo Michell Associate professor of economics, UWE Bristol
David Spencer Professor of economics and political economy, University of Leeds
Alfredo Saad-Filho Professor, Soas
Simon Reid-Henry Reader in geography, Queen Mary University of London
Mary Mellor Emeritus professor, Northumbria University
Hugh Willmott Professor of management, University of London
Steve Keen Professor of economics, Kingston University London
Susan Himmelweit Emeritus professor of economics, Open University
Gideon Calder Senior lecturer in public health, policy and social sciences, Swansea University
Simon Mohun Emeritus professor of political economy, Queen Mary University of London
Klaus Nielsen Professor of institutional economics, Birkbeck University of London
Pritam Singh Professor of economics, Oxford Brookes Business School
Matthew Watson Professor of political economy, University of Warwick
Mary V Wrenn Professor, UWE Bristol
Geoffrey Hodgson Research professor of business studies, University of Hertfordshire
Daniela Gabor Professor of economics and macro-finance, UWE Bristol
Gary Dymski Professor of applied economics, Leeds University Business School
Tony Thirlwall Professor of applied economics, University of Kent
Kalim Siddiqui Senior lecturer, University of Huddersfield
Stuart Holland Economist, University of Coimbra
David Bailey Professor of industrial strategy, Aston Business School
Roberto Veneziani School of Economics and Finance, Queen Mary University of London
Neil Lancastle Director of Finance and Banking Research Centre, De Montfort University
Michael Lipton Research professor of economics, University of Sussex
Marjorie Mayo Emeritus professor of community development, Goldsmiths
Andrew Simms Fellow, New Economics Foundation
Leslie Huckfield Academic and activist, Yunus Centre for Social Business and Health
Hugo Radice Economist, University of Leeds
Satoshi Miyamura Senior lecturer, Soas
Sue Konzelmann Director of the London Centre for Corporate Governance and Ethics, Birkbeck University of London
Bruce Conin Professor of economic sociology, University of Greenwich
David Hall Professor, public services international research unit, University of Greenwich
Jonathan Perraton Senior lecturer in economics, University of Sheffield
Teddy Brett Professor of international development, LSE
Robert Calvert Jump Lecturer, UWE Bristol
Jeff Powell Senior lecturer in economics, University of Greenwich
Kat Chzhen Academic, co-editor of Children of Austerity
Dominic Harrison Visiting professor of public health, University of Central Lancashire
Lisa McKenzie Lecturer in sociological practice, Middlesex University
Satbir Singh Chief executive, Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants
Costas Lapavitsas Professor, Soas
Engelbert Stockhammer Professor, Kingston University London
Annette Hastings Professor of urban studies, University of Glasgow
Ruth Lupton Professor of education, University of Manchester
Kitty Stewart Associate professor of social policy, LSE
Canon Giles Fraser Parish priest, St Mary’s Newington
Anna Minton Programme leader MRes architecture: Reading the Neoliberal City, University of East London
Sam Friedman Associate professor of sociology, LSE
Pilgrim Tucker Community organiser, Grenfell Action Group
Canon Steve Saxby Chair, Unite Faith Workers
Paul Parker Recording clerk, Quakers in Britain

Click here for pdf and link to the Guardian Newspaper where the letter was published

State Spending as a proportion of GDP for 20 countries, IMF estimates and projections