Theresa May has been warned not to abandon austerity amid indications she is willing to start spending again to secure a deal to stay in power.
Senior Tories said the“dynamics of sound financial policy” have not changed just because the Tories now need the support of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) to secure a majority.
George Osborne’s Evening Standard has called claims that austerity will be abandoned “worrying” while backbenchers said it was “fantasy” that economic problems could be solved by a spending splurge.
The UK national debt continues to rise at £5,170 a second and is fast approaching £1.9 trillion, despite years of spending cuts under the Conservatives.
The Tories went into this year’s election with a manifesto promising to balance the books by the “middle of the next decade” – a delay from the 2020 target promised two years earlier.
Now Mrs May appears to be willing to increase spending further after Labour’s election performance – seen to have been boosted by a reaction against austerity – and DUP demands.