It's an odd definition of austerity being used here

The Institute for Fiscal Studies is telling us that more money must be found and spent if “austerity” is to end. We find this to be an odd definition of austerity.

Philip Hammond must find an extra £5bn in this year’s Whitehall spending review to reverse planned cuts and meet his claim of ending austerity, a leading thinktank has revealed.

We obviously have views on how much government should be spending - less. But that’s not our point here:

Philip Hammond must spend billions extra to end austerity, says think tank the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS).

The report itself is here.

There are various ways we can measure how much government is spending. Pure cash for example - that’s obviously risen. We can measure it after inflation, that’s risen since those Glory Days of the Blairites.

The most reasonable one is to use portion of GDP. Gross Domestic Product is, after all, the measure of everything done by everyone. Percentage of GDP is thus how much of what everyone does is taken from them in order to be processed through government. We think that should be less for we believe that people dispose of their own resources upon their own needs rather better than some bureaucrat spending other peoples’ money on other people does.

Sure, there’s a minimum needed for as we’re not anarcho capitalists we do agree that a modicum of government is necessary. But less.

Government spending - and taxation - is currently higher than the average it was when Blair was Prime Minister. We find that a difficult definition of “austerity” to believe.

Seriously? Spending more of everyones’ everything than even Gordon Brown did is austerity?