What will the political parties spending promises be? What might they cut? How will they pay for it all? We speak to Gemma Tetlow about how it all works.

Full transcript

Mubin Haq: Welcome to the Financial Fairness podcast with me, Mubin Haq. As we approach the general election, our political parties will be setting out their stalls. How do their spending promises stack up against the income we have available? Will this mean spending cuts and austerity 2.0, or will the next government have to raise taxes or increase public borrowing? And what does this mean for the public services we all use? 

In this episode, I’m speaking to Gemma Tetlow, Chief Economist at the Institute for Government. We’ll be discussing some of the big-ticket areas of public spending and how much room there is for change. And whether we are in the land of financial fiction, where the political parties just aren’t being honest with us about the difficult choices they will have to make.

Gemma, thanks for coming along. Can you just give us the big picture of what happens in relation to government spending? How much is the government spending each year?

Gemma Tetlow: The government this year is going to spend just over a trillion pounds. That's pretty huge numbers, that’s a number one and then 12 zeros after it. To put that in perhaps some context to try and help understand what size that number is, that's about 40% of the total output of the UK economy this year will be spent by the government.

Mubin: Okay, and what does the government spend it on? You know, what are some of the big-ticket areas of expenditure?

Gemma: So, the way that government spending is broken down, it’s broadly about two fifths of government spending goes on the day-to-day provision of public services. Things like well, the three really big areas of public services, the government spends money on: health, education and defence. So, 15% of total government spending goes on day-to-day provision of health services, paying doctors and nurses, for example. Around a quarter of government spending goes on social security spending, so direct payments to households to help them meet their living costs. And about just over half of that goes to pensioner households, and just under half of it goes to working age households. And then some of the other big bits of public spending are investment spendings. About one in 10 pounds that the government spends is on investment, things like building new hospitals and schools, building roads or railways. But also, things like research and development spending, done in universities. We also spend quite a bit of money, almost 10% of spending this year is going to go on debt interests. So, meeting the costs of previous government borrowing, and that's something that's increased quite significantly in recent years. 

Mubin: What areas have seen big increases, and what's the increase? So, if we go back to 1945, it would have been a very different world, we just had a welfare state come in. Probably spending quite a lot less on that, weren't we?

Gemma: Yeah, so there's a really big shift in the state from before the Second World War to after it. So, in the decade running up to the Second World War, the government had been spending only about 27% of GDP each year. If we roll forward to 1945, from that point onwards, the government was spending more like over 40% of GDP. So, public spending in 1945 (in the decade after the war) was about 42% of GDP. It stayed at around that level, but increased a bit since then, rising up to 46% of GDP in 2022. But although the level of spending has stayed broadly the same through that post war period, the big shift from prewar to post-war was, as you said, the introduction of the welfare state - the state coming in to provide universal health care services, widespread education, having much more systematic provision of disability and unemployment provision and pensions, that sort of thing. But over the post-war period, there have been some shifts in exactly how the money is being spent, like the particularly big shifts are that we have increases in spending on particularly health care and social security, things like pensions. But there's been a shift away from spending on some other areas. 

And the first big shift that happened was from the end of the Second World War, and then as the Cold War wound down, the amount of money we've been spending on defence has fallen significantly. So, for example, in the mid 1950s, the government was spending about 9% of GDP on defence, but that had fallen to just 2% of GDP more recently. So that fall in defence spending freed up some money that could then be used for things like health care and pensions. The other thing that happened a bit more recently was a big fall in spending on debt interest payments. And this was both a function of the level of government debt declining from the end of the Second World War, but also the cost of government borrowing coming down quite sharply through the 1970s,1980s and 1990s. And that, again, freed up for the government money that could be spent on nicer things, things that people see benefiting their day to day lives more. I think the, the challenge now is that we continue to see pressure for more spending on things like health care. But it's not obvious where, where that next thing is that's going to be naturally falling spending in an area that we can then use to reallocate towards health care. 

Mubin: Yep. So, in effect, what you're saying is, we've been able to spend a bit more, well quite a lot more, on some of these big-ticket items like health and social security, because some other areas have reduced, and we just can't pull that trick off again. How much of this is being driven as well by some of the demographic changes that the country is facing?

Gemma: Demographic changes are a big part of the story and what's shaping where government spending is going. And in particular, the ageing of the population in the UK that's really accelerated since the turn of the century. As we've seen, we had a big post war baby boom generation. So, a lot of people born immediately after the Second World War, have now started entering retirement and are putting increasing demands on things like health care and pensions.. Another thing that has been particularly important in the last five years or so, is the rising cost of debt interest. And that's one area of government spending that had been very low. But because of the way that debt interest costs are calculated, you can have quite rapid changes in debt interest payments that happen very sharply. And we've seen a big rise in that area of spending in the last few years. 

Mubin: And how about migration? What impact is that having? 

Gemma: Migration does have a very nuanced impact on the public finances. And actually, really, for the UK, it’s in many ways had positive impacts and that's for a few reasons. Firstly, migrants tend to be young. And so, the big increases in migrant populations that we've seen, for example, with the expansion of the EU into Eastern Europe, we had a lot of young people coming to the UK to work, tending to pay more in taxes than they take in terms of that the demand they place on public services. Obviously, that does evolve as migrants stay here for longer. So, the longer migrants stay, they're more likely to, for example, have children who will then require education. And then if migrants do stay into older age, then obviously, they will start to put further demands on health care and pensions. But if migrants go home after they've had a period working here, actually, it can be a big positive benefit to the UK public finances. The other important aspect of migration for the UK’s public spending position is that quite a lot of migrants work in public services. And so having those migrant workers to contribute to the workforce has helped to keep down the level of pay that needs to be offered in some of those public services, particularly things like adult social care, which otherwise could cost a lot more if you needed to persuade UK based workers to go and take on some of those jobs. 

Mubin:. And how much is disability having an impact? Because there's been quite a lot of concern around more people not being in the workplace. So just, it’s not just a cost that there is to the state, but also in terms of the reduced taxes which are coming in via the workforce. Could you just tell us a bit about that, please, Gemma?

Gemma: There has been quite a big increase in spending on disability benefits in recent years and that's projected to continue. And there are really two concerns for the government here. Firstly, that that will require more spending on disability benefits. And there have been a series of attempts to try and reduce levels of spending on disability benefits in recent years, which haven't actually stemmed that gradual increase in entitlements. But the second thing is that if people are receiving disability benefits because they're not able to work, then that also means that those people aren't paying taxes, they're not contributing to economic output. And as we hopefully will come on to talk to a bit more, in a sense looking forward to the pressures on the state and the difficulties of balancing public spending demands against tax revenues, all of this will be made a lot easier if the economy was growing more quickly. And so having lots of people who are unable to work through ill health and disability is a sort of double cost to the state because it's dragging down on economic growth, it's making it harder to raise tax revenues, as well as increasing the demands on public spending. 
There have been quite a lot of attempts to reform the disability benefit system to try and make sure that people aren't inappropriately receiving disability benefits. But actually, other trends seem to be acting in the opposite direction, continuing to put pressure on disability benefits. And there's been a particular focus on this since the COVID-19 pandemic, because the UK - a little bit, sort of, as an outlier compared to other countries - had a fall in the number of people working during the pandemic. And that seems to have persisted since the pandemic, since jobs have opened back up, that there seemed to be more people continuing to suffer from disabilities, and not to be in work in a way that hasn't been quite so apparent in other countries.

Mubin: So, we've painted this picture of a trillion pounds of expenditure, huge sums. And we've also had some big public spending commitments lately, and that includes things like the NHS Workforce Development Plan, lots more spending on childcare. Can you just tell us a bit about those and what pressures that's going to create in terms of public spending?

Gemma: If you take a step back and look at the government's broader public spending plans for the next five years, what they've set out is a plan that superficially says that the government will be on course to meet their fiscal rules, they have an objective to try and get debt falling as a share of GDP in five years’ time. And superficially, their overall plans for public spending are consistent with achieving that. But that's only happening because they are assuming that it is possible to increase total public spending very slowly over the next few years. In terms of public service spending, it suggests they'd be increasing spending year on year by just 0.9% a year over and above inflation. That's relatively slow growth, but it is some growth. But actually, if you strip out the money that's already been committed to the NHS Workforce Plan, to the childcare commitments, to the commitment to maintain defence spending at 2% of GDP to meet our commitments to NATO, if you assume the government continues to meet the objective of spending money on overseas aid, then once you've taken all of those existing commitments into account, that actually leaves other areas of public spending needing to find cuts of 2.3% a year over the next five years beyond 2025. So essentially, over the next parliament, whoever forms the next government. So, in a sense, the government has on the one hand made some pretty big, ambitious commitments about expanding health care and childcare. But on the other hand, hasn't been realistic about what that means in terms of overall public spending, unless you're willing to cut back quite significantly on something else. 

Mubin: So, if they keep to these commitments, they may have to cut back other departments. How realistic do you think that childcare commitment and the workforce plan is? Do you think we'll get the delivery that is being talked about?

Gemma: I think the, the numbers that are currently pencilled in for total public spending are a bit of a fiction. They are not deliverable if the government continues to commit to provide the sort of scope of public services that at the moment people expect to get. So, something quite significant needs to change. You could do a lot of different things and there are a range of options open to whoever is in government after the next election. But you can't just carry on muddling through. I think we really are in a world of needing to deal with some difficult tradeoffs between lots of things we'd like to have, but we can't have all of them.

Mubin: So, where are political parties? We've got this election year coming up, what are the different paths that they are going towards? Let's start with the Conservatives, where are they at? 

Gemma: So, the Conservatives, not surprisingly, are broadly likely to stick with what the current government fiscal rules and fiscal plans are. We haven't seen them announce anything that wildly differs from that. So, what that means is that they have a target to have debt falling by the end of five years. And at the moment, their plans are just about consistent with that. They have about £13 billion of headroom to play with against that objective of having debt falling by five years. In terms of public spending and tax, their public spending plans, as we've already talked about, are essentially slightly a work of fiction - that the amount of money that's pencilled in for the next parliament is not consistent with delivering the current scope and scale, quality of public services and social security systems. So, I think there's an unknown in the Conservatives’ plans about how you would actually square that circle. The other thing that has been talked about a lot by Conservative MPs and including leaks coming out of the Treasury is the desire to cut taxes further. It's not clear how you would do that and also continue to keep the public finances on a sustainable path, and not cut back on public spending. So, whilst the Conservatives have been clear about an aspiration to cut taxes, I don't think we've seen the sort of mirroring statement of how you would cut back what the State offers to actually facilitate those tax cuts. 

Mubin: So that's probably the defining feature then, isn't it? It’s kind of like that tax cuts potentially could deliver growth, is that right? It's a bit like what Liz Truss was saying and Kwasi Kwarteng, but this is a more, is this a more sophisticated approach than they tried?

Gemma: So, I think the Liz Truss and Kwasi Kwarteng pitch, and perhaps some on the further right of the Conservatives would, would try and make this argument, would be that actually by cutting taxes in and of themselves, you can boost growth so significantly that actually it doesn't end up costing you any money overall, because you'll increase economic activity and the remaining taxes will generate revenues that compensate for whatever you cut. That is a nice idea. It'd be wonderful and make things a lot easier if that were true. But my reading of the evidence is that there is no part of the UK tax system where that really is the case, where you could cut tax rates and still actually generate more tax revenues overall. And indeed, the, the set of measures that Kwasi Kwarteng announced in the mini budget, the OBR estimated that those would cost money overall. So even though they were talking about them in terms of growth enhancements, the OBR’s estimate was that any macroeconomic boost wouldn't be sufficiently significant to offset the cost of those measures. I think the, the government now, I haven't heard them make quite such extreme claims about the fact that you could do tax cuts that will pay for themselves. They are perhaps framing it more in terms of, if growth improves or there are other improvements to the economic and fiscal forecasts, then their priority would be to use that improvement to give away in tax cuts, as opposed to any other thing that you might do. So, I think that's more where, where they're framing this - that the priority for this government and a new Conservative government if elected, would be to cut taxes, put more money back in people's pockets, rather than using it to increase public spending, for example. 

Mubin: And can I just press on this a bit? Are, do these tax cuts now, if we get them pre-election, do they just inevitably lead to tax rises later on? Because the government's got to find some money from somewhere, or it leads to cutting of public services - so we sort of see austerity 2.0. What, what’s your take? 

Gemma:, I don't think this government or really the, the opposition either have really had that discussion with the public about what their priorities were, if faced with the choice between having the tax cut but that meaning that you had to scale back public services quite significantly in some area. Is that the choice that the public would rather have than the alternative, which is to have slightly higher taxes, but spend a bit more on other public services? I think the key thing in the next parliament will be for the government, and ideally this conversation would happen before the next election so that voters know what they're voting for. But to understand where the public sits on their desire for tax cuts on the one hand, versus the scale and scope and quality of public services and social security safety net on the other hand. And you are going to probably have to end up with one of those two things happening -either tax rises, or significant and noticeable cuts to public spending or some combination of those two things. 

Mubin: Okay, so let's, let's go to Labour now, what's their big overall message in relation to public spending and what they might do in this area? 

Gemma: So, Labour haven't, have quite deliberately not made any big new pledges on public spending, recognising the very difficult fiscal maths that we've been talking about already. In terms of their overall objectives for the public finances and the sort of fiscal rules that they would stick to,  there are still some details that they haven't completely fleshed out there. But the government, the current government's fiscal rule of debt falling in five years’ time is about as loose as you could possibly go and still have some kind of notion of fiscal sustainability.  So, it seems unlikely that Labour would loosen that overall fiscal rule very much. The one thing they have said is they've had more focus on wanting tax revenues to meet day to day spending costs and only wanting to borrow for investment. So, if they do stick with something like that objective, that would mean them spending somewhat more on investment than the current government is planning to do. But at the moment, Labour haven't said that they would deviate significantly from the current government's public spending and tax plans. They've highlighted some specific areas of tax that they would want to change and would want to raise a bit more money. So, things like charging VAT on private school fees, changing the tax treatment of non-domiciled taxpayers, which would raise some extra money. I think it's fair to say that that extra money has probably been earmarked to multiple different policies already. So we'll need to see as they start to flesh out their manifesto exactly how much money those things would raise and exactly where that money would be going amongst the many priorities that they have talked about. But at the moment, there is not, there really isn't a huge difference in those fiscal plans between the two main parties. And that, I think, will be something it'll be interesting to see as we get closer to the election is whether we do start to see clearer blue water between the type of state that the two parties are offering to the electorate.

Mubin: They have made some loose commitments around green investment. And also, there's been the housing pledge as well. Is that supposed to come through existing budgets or is this extra money? It's not been clear, and it's all been quite murky, hasn't it? 

Gemma: Yes. The government does have numbers pencilled in for public sector investment through most of the next parliament. Some of that money will have been pre committed to projects that are already underway or already announced. But some of it won't be. So, there will be some money there that a new Labour government could use for some of these housebuilding or green pledges. But I think certainly, as far as I've been able to digest the debate around this, I don't think it's entirely clear yet the extent to which that will be new money or existing money. And in some other areas, I think the Labour Party, but it's also been a feature of the current government, are trying to find ways of getting more private sector money into some things that the state wants to achieve, whether that's house building, or delivery of infrastructure, to try and reduce the amount of public money that actually has to go into this, or at least has to go into this up front. 

Mubin: Folk on the left would be saying, ‘Well, look, we borrowed huge amounts during the pandemic and during the cost-of-living crisis. Why can't we just do that now?’ And, you know, you look at the USA, which is hardly a socialist nirvana, they’re borrowing billions and billions for investment and also taxing more. Why, why can't we just do more of that? 

Gemma: It is a compelling argument; it'd be nice to think that we could just borrow an unlimited amount of money. There is no magic number of the level of debt above which we simply cannot go or exactly how quickly we need to stop adding to our debt pile. We clearly could, during the pandemic, borrow a lot of money. But I think there are a couple of things that mean we shouldn't assume we can keep doing this indefinitely, despite recent experience and despite what the US is doing. The first is that  we were able to borrow a lot during the pandemic, but one thing that really helped was that every other country in the world was in exactly the same position as we were. Investors looking to loan their money out didn't look at the UK and think, gosh, they look in a right mess over there, we'd rather put our money in France or Germany, because everyone was in very much the same position. That may not be the case forever. If the UK starts to look like more of an outlier in terms of high levels of government borrowing or weak economic growth, it could become harder to persuade people to loan money to us rather than to other countries. And looking forward to potential future shocks, what was really helpful in the last three shocks was that the government could, really without batting an eyelid, come in hard and fast to help the private sector through those crises. They could only do that because they knew they had ready access to be able to borrow from international markets. And what you want is that when the next crisis hits, you're in that same strong position because you have a strong reputation for being able to repay your debts and not being fiscally irresponsible. One thing that is importantly different between the UK and the US. So, you rightly say that the US is borrowing a lot of money and that, seems to be able to do that very readily. The UK, the UK unlike the US doesn't have a reserve, the pound is not the reserve currency of the world. So, the US benefits from the fact that lots of people all over the world really want to hold dollars or dollar denominated assets. And so, they are willing to loan money to the US government so that they hold dollar denominated Treasury debt in a way that they aren't quite so willing to loan money to the UK Government in pounds. And that is a big important difference between where the US is now and where the UK is.

Mubin: Can I come back to the cutting of public services, potentially. How feasible is that going to be, given we've already had a really long period of austerity? What impact is that already having? I know the Institute for Government has done some really interesting work on this area. And how's that translating into everyday experiences in terms of our public services?

Gemma: We've already had a decade and more now, since the financial crisis when governments have kept trying to either cut public service spending in some areas, or at least not increase it very fast, even though demands on services are increasing. And for a few years, that seemed to be possible without a notable deterioration in the performance of services. But as time has gone on, more and more problems have become apparent across a range of different services. So, for example, if we take hospitals, which is one area that really seems to be struggling, particularly since the pandemic. In hospitals, you have a set of workforce problems. We have doctors and nurses have been on strike. So, one of the ways that government reduced growth in public spending was to hold down growth in public sector pay. And that worked for a while. But I think the, the strikes that you've seen across a variety of public services in the last year or so show that that approach has really hit a buffer, that it's been pushed as far as it can. And workers are now starting to take industrial action, you can see it in growing problems to recruit and retain qualified staff in a whole range of public services. So that's one issue and those sort of staffing problems can have knock on effects. And so, in some services, you've sort of ended up in a position where the spending cuts have led to problems that are now quite difficult to resolve, because the services are struggling just to stand still, let alone to solve some of the problems that have now started building up. 

Mubin: And there's been particular, deep cuts to local authorities and we've seen more facing really significant financial problems. What would have been once in a blue moon seems to be happening with much more regularity. Could you just say a bit about please?

Gemma: We have seen a growing number of local authorities facing financial problems. And one of the areas that was hit most hard by some of the public spending cuts over the last decade have been local authority budgets. And in a sense, this reflected central government delegating responsibility for making difficult cuts down to local authorities, rather than perhaps doing things that would have had more immediate kickback on ministers. And the way local authorities dealt with this, for quite a long time, was to reallocate spending increasingly towards the things that they are legally required to provide. So, that meant a shift away from things like providing libraries and maintaining parks, towards the statutory responsibilities - providing adult social care and care for vulnerable children, that they absolutely have to provide no matter what. But even within those statutory services, there was also a gradual shift in really the threshold at which people started to qualify for those services. So, making it harder and harder for people to get local authority help for social care needs, for example, as a way of limiting spending demand in those areas. But that's been going on for quite a long time now. And that's really stretching local authorities’ ability to continue to deliver the range of services that they need to. 
The financial failures that we've seen of local authorities so far have, in most cases, reflected idiosyncratic circumstances. So, councils that had made risky bets on commercial property, for example, just before the pandemic, and then those haven't paid off. Or there was the Birmingham Council example where they had a historic liability for equal pay, a court case that went against them, that pushed them into the red. But some of those risky financial choices that councils made, were made in response to the central government funding cuts. Because they were getting less and less from central government, they were trying to think creatively about other ways of topping up their revenues. But I think what we're now seeing is more concern, more people voicing the concern that actually, the next thing we could see would be much broader financial distress for local authorities that goes beyond just those that have perhaps made one-off poor choices. I think the thing with local authorities that means that a lot of these problems take a long time to surface is that they are legally required to balance their budgets every year. So, they are very good at finding ways of doing that. Whether it's through shifting money to the things they absolutely can't avoid or changing the thresholds for eligibility. But there is a point at which, and we may be getting to that point increasingly, that they're struggling to find more creative ways of actually balancing their budgets. 

Mubin: It's going to take money coming from somewhere. So, growth could lead to, you know,  increased tax revenues later down the line. How realistic is that, that we might see the kind of level of investment that's needed to grow the economy?

Gemma: The reason that people point to investment being something that could be beneficial for the government is that certain types of investment ought to help boost economic growth, and therefore future tax revenues. Things like better communication infrastructure, better transport infrastructure should make it easier, quicker, cheaper for businesses to do what they're doing and potentially make the UK a more attractive place for international business to locate itself. All of that is true, and it's important. But, you need to think about the details of those projects, as well as simply whether you're doing them or not. And I think particularly when it comes to things like green investment all the main political parties are clearly committed to the UK achieving net zero. And so, there are a set of investments that will be needed to get us there. Those are all important and necessary to ensure that the UK is not a carbon emitter in future, and to deliver all the long-term benefits for the UK and the world and our environment from getting to net zero. But some of them, at least in the short-term, are either new costs required to carry out existing economic activity, or costs to shift from the way we operate from one way to another. So, for example, replacing my gas boiler with a ground source or air source heat pump. A lot of those in the short-term really are additional costs, even if in the long-term, they mean that we live in a less depleted environment, which may be good, but we shouldn't think that all of these are net economic boosts in the short-term. 

Mubin: But we'll need some investment in order to get economic growth. We're stuck in this loop, aren't we that we don't do the investment and we don't get the growth? How do we get ourselves out of that?

Gemma: I think one possible reason why investment tends to get deprioritized, particularly when governments are facing tight fiscal positions, is because it takes a long time to pay off. And one of the reasons why Gordon Brown introduced his first set of fiscal rules was actually, their critique was that the previous Conservative government had gone too far in cutting capital spending, because no one would notice the costs until too late. And one of the problems with our current set of fiscal rules now is that, we don't have that distinction between day-to-day spending and capital spending. And so, the government has been able to cut back on plans for capital spending, as a way of making its sums add up. So, yes, it would be a good idea to return to a situation where we had that distinction, and we tried to reduce the political incentives to cut capital just because no one notices for a few years. Precisely as you say, because capital spending may not have immediate benefits, but it does, hopefully if you invest it in good quality projects, have long-term benefits for economic growth and better public services. So that's one thing. 

Another factor that we've looked at in some of our recent work is the dynamics around the budget processes in the UK, and particularly the five-year forecasts that the Office for Budget Responsibility produce. So, there is a lot of media attention and political attention to the forecast for the next five years and the government's tax and spending plans for the next five years. And even though the OBR does separately produce much longer-term projections, those don't get nearly as much attention. And so, one of the problems with the five-year forecast is that things like the, the ultimate benefit of investment projects just don't show up within five years. So, one thing that we think might be helpful to slightly shifting the debate and shifting the political incentives around making those longer-term investments would be if the OBR spelled out, alongside those five-year forecasts, what they expected the long-term impact of investments to be. If it's relevant, if the government is announcing a new policy for new investments, that they could actually give a sort of illustrative 10- or 20-year picture to show what the longer term benefits of those are, to give a bit more credit to politicians who make those kinds of choices, rather than just getting a lot of attention for things that you can fiddle in the next five years. 

Mubin: Fiddle being the operative word there. So, Gemma, just lastly, if you were the prime minister,  what's the one thing you'd be doing in relation to public spending?

Gemma: I’m not going to pick a particular set of ‘I would increase spending here or I would do that’, because I think that's, that is an inherently political question. And that really is for politicians to set out and the public to vote on at the next election. What I would do, and you'll gather in a second there's a good reason I'm not a politician because I probably wouldn't get elected, but I think the thing that I would want to do as a prime minister is really open up that discussion of priorities with the public. I do think, as we've discussed, that there are really important decisions and tradeoffs to be made between the different areas of extra public spending we would probably like and how we tax. And if I were Prime Minister, I would like to open that discussion up much more transparently to the public and actually try and get a settled answer to the question, ‘What really are our priorities?’ Rather than penciling in nonsense, fictitious numbers for public spending and having slightly pie in the sky discussions about our desire for much lower tax burden on one hand, but also fantastic public services and a great safety net on the other hand. Actually have a debate about what are our priorities here? What are we willing to do without? And what are we willing to pay to achieve all that we do want? 

Mubin: Yep. And it's that sort of magical thinking that we currently have where it's, as lots of people have said, we want US style taxes but Scandinavian spending, and that's just impossible to achieve, really. So, thanks, Gemma that's been really insightful in terms of what's happening and the bigger picture and the choices our parties are facing. Thanks very much.

Gemma: Thanks.

Mubin: Thanks again for listening to the Financial Fairness podcast. If you liked this episode, please like and share and don’t forget you can subscribe to the series through your platform of choice. And Series one and two are also available now. 
Join us for our next episode, as we continue looking at the key issues the political parties will be addressing in the run up to the general election.