Austerity by John Fender (University of Birmingham)
Austerity has dominated economic debate since the financial crisis of 2008. Governments have implemented austerity policies by reducing their spending on goods and services, increasing taxation and cutting welfare budgets.
John Fender explains how austerity (or "fiscal consolidation") works in theory and how it has played out in practice especially in the UK and the eurozone. He provides a clear and rigorous guide to the principles and mechanisms of austerity economics and offers a balanced account of the economic thinking behind contentious policy decisions.
Boris Johnson has said that the UK government "has absolutely no intention of returning to the 'A-word'", but with the Covid-19 crisis likely to result in much more government debt, it will be difficult to avoid more austerity. Understanding the impact of austerity policies is more important than ever and this book offers a first step on that path. For anyone seeking answers to such questions as: "What can we learn from the UK's economic history that is relevant to current policy?", "Is austerity ever necessary or desirable?" and "Can the harmful effects of austerity programmes be mitigated?" then this book will be welcome reading.