Budget 2020: James O'Brien's reaction to the end of austerity

11 March 2020, 13:24 | Updated: 11 March 2020, 14:16

By Adrian Sherling

The government has announced a £600billion spending spree in the Budget. Here is James O'Brien's response to the end of austerity.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak unveiled a host of new measures to boost the economy, as well as protect and support people and businesses who are affected by coronavirus.

It comes after 10 years of austerity Budgets under previous Conservative Chancellors.

James pointed out that the same people who cheered the closure of libraries and police stations as part of austerity will also be cheering Mr Sunak's splurge today.

Speaking on his LBC show, James said: "It's roughly 10 years since austerity was introduced - an ideology I think best described by Alexei Sayle as one built upon the notion that the financial crisis happened because there were too many libraries in Wolverhampton.

"Of all the unpleasant sights in the public space at the moment, George Osborne being lauded as some sort of expert or success story is the one that actually grinds my gears the most.

"Austerity has seen untold damage inflicted upon our public services, most obviously our health service, which in 2010 had its highest patient satisfaction levels on record. 2010.

"Public sector pay freezes. Failure to recruit new nurses. Policies actively designed since Osborne and Cameron shuffled away to discourage people from elsewhere coming to this country to look after us.

"It's astonishing to see what's been done to the police service, to the fire service, libraries. All of these ideologically-driven cuts to your social capital, to your birthright, cheered by the British public as a result of the ministrations of cheats and liars doing the bidding of the billionaire bosses of the tabloid industry.

"Huge swathes of the British public have been persuaded to cheer the theft of their birthright, the theft of their social security, the theft of their welfare state, the theft of their health services, the theft of their police protections, the theft of their fire services. I could go on.

James O'Brien gave his response to the Tories u-turn on austerity
James O'Brien gave his response to the Tories u-turn on austerity. Picture: LBC / PA

"Later today, a Conservative Chancellor will effect a massive U-turn and announce public spending, mostly on infrastructure that will be financed by epic public borrowing. It's not a million miles away from what Alastair Darling had lined up in 2009

"But because of the parasitic stranglehold that the right-wing media and dodgy thinktanks and secret funders exercise on the British public, no one else will point this out to you.

"And the same people that cheered the theft of their police services, their health services, their firefighters, their fire stations, their ticket office attendees on the London Underground... the same people who cheered the theft of their own birthright will today be ordered by branches of this industry to cheer the U-turn undertaken by the people who spent the last 10 years robbing them blind.

"And the most depressing thing of all is that they will obey the orders."

Watch his full monologue at the top of the page.