Austerity, to ideologically driven Tories, is a “punishment.” It is an excuse to remove the safety net of a multitude of services under the guise of perpetually saving money, despite being able to immediately throw money at, say, the DUP. It’s a con. One that ties nicely to their ideology of a small state and market led neo-liberalism. It’s not about saving money, for example, the scheme introduced to “save money” on the welfare state costs more to implement than it saves. It’s about grinding down services… pledge just enough to look like investment but allow inflation and service pressures to overcome your investment. This allows for a managed decline of the services (whether it be the fire, police, NHS, border policing, prisons, welfare, national parks etc). Then once your “investment” has not kept pace, this managed decline allows for a saviour to step in. Usually this is the private sector, heavily linked to the Tories. After gifting the Tories money, access to ministers, contracts and peerages is almost always forthcoming. And ministers are aware of the deals, almost certainly using the arrangements to purchase large amounts of stock in the companies that they favour. It’s no coincidence that they’re often linked to tax scandals like paradise and panama papers. So yes, austerity has the added bonus of punishing those low achievers, those plebs that are a drain on the market, the poor that sap welfare… literally stripping their services has the added bonus of removing citizens who would never, ever vote Tory. It’s a war on the poor, and helped by the media who love to show them as scroungers, as a burden. Benefit porn TV has the same affect, allowing them to be “punished” constantly. Austerity is an absolute sham. Not only has it been found to be economically damaging in stifling growth and investment, it is directly chosen to punish the vast majority who don’t vote for the Tories. It’s also a war disguised as a “necessity,” the Tories are not known as the nasty party without good reason… even using propaganda to blame labour for the banks crashing the markets… and thus, they say, driving the need for constant austerity. It’s a sham, a complete con.