British Prime Minister Theresa May called for an end to austerity and encouraged her Conservative Party to get a good Brexit deal.
“We’re not just a party to clean up the mess. We’re a party to steer a course to a better future,” May said in a speech at a Conservative Party conference Wednesday. “When we’ve secured a good Brexit deal for Britain, at the Spending Review next year we will set out our approach for the future.”
While the days of severe cuts to public spending are over, May warned Britain will not “return to the uncontrolled borrowing of the past.” Debt will go down, she said.
“Fixing our finances was necessary. There must be no return,” she said. “Because you made sacrifices, there are better days ahead. A decade after the financial crash, people need to now that the austerity it led to is over and that their hard work has paid off.”
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May also addressed the country’s housing crisis. She announced that the government would lift the legal cap on how much councils can borrow to build new homes. She acknowledged that this would cause an increase in public debt.
“Solving the housing crisis is the biggest domestic policy challenge of our generation,” May said. “It doesn’t make sense to stop councils from playing their part in solving it, so today I can announce that we are scrapping that cap.”
Lord Gary Porter, chairman of the Local Government Association’s Housing Commission, praised May’s decision to lift the cap on housing.
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“Our national housing shortage is one of the most pressing issues we face and it is clear that only an increase of all types of housing–including those for affordable or social rent–will solve the housing crisis,” Porter said. “The last time this country built homes at that scale the scale we need now was in the 1970s when councils built more than 40 percent of them.”