dancing queen
Image: © Brandson Convention via Flickr

Theresa May just said austerity is “over”

She was so happy she danced. No, really.

The Prime Minister said there’ll be no more economic sacrifices. Labour says that’s a lie.

What it means: Theresa May just gave a speech at the Tory party conference where two newsworthy things happened. The first is that she announced that austerity, those big cuts to government spending we’ve all had to put up with for the past eight years, is “over”. The second is that she did a dance to ABBA’s 1975 disco classic Dancing Queen. (The BBC very politely referred to her moves as shimmying. You can make up your own mind if that’s a fair description here).

May said local councils can now borrow more money to buy homes, which people are quite excited about because they think if there were more houses around it wouldn’t cost so much to buy or rent one. She also said there will be more money for the NHS. The government has previously promised that this would be a huge £20bn, but has never told us where they’re going to get that money from. Word on the MP grapevine is we’ll have to pay higher taxes, which people are likely to have mixed views about.

But John McDonnell, Labour’s Shadow Chancellor (aka government-moneyman-in-waiting), wasn’t impressed. He pointed out that there’s still loads of welfare cuts scheduled to happen this year, and that local council say they’re going to have a £4 billion hole in their budget. He even threw shade at May’s dancing, saying she was about as likely to keep her economic promises as she was to win Strictly Come Dancing. Hey, if it was good enough for Ed Balls…

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