I do not agree with austerity. I have always wanted the UK – and the rest of the EU – to put prosperity first. The EU system wanting us and the others to cut the state debt as a proportion of our GDP has enforced spending cuts and spending constraints on our public services and tax increases on consumers which has left us worse off and probably borrowing more. In the case of the UK the iron discipline of the EU rules on our budget has been particularly odd, as the UK state has bought in a massive £435 bn of our public debt so this is no longer a cost or a risk to the government. The EU still makes us cut our budgets as if this were a real debt.

I am urging Boris if and when he takes over to have a prosperity boosting budget to signal a change of direction and to offer more hope of better public services and more take-home pay. There should be tax cuts that bring in more revenue. Getting down the penal Stamp duties would mean more homes bought and sold. Slashing the very high Vehicle Excise duties would lead to more new cars being bought. These measures would increase the total tax take.

Then we need to give people a boost with some Income tax cuts. Individuals need to keep more of their earnings to spend on their families and their own priorities. We need to take VAT off items like insulation, draught excluders, boiler controls and green technology generally to make it easier for people to keep warm and cut the heating bills. We should get rid of parking fees on visits to hospitals.

We need to increase spending on our schools. I have been pressing for a better settlement for Wokingham and West Berkshire schools for some time. We made a bit of progress this year, but more is needed, as we get too small a share of the national allocation, and the national allocation needs to be increased anyway. We also need to spend more on social care. Thinking through a reform will take time and requires getting consent or acceptance from as wide a spectrum of opinion as possible. In the meantime, the current system needs some more cash to keep it going.

Fortunately, by staying out of the Euro the UK never experienced the crunching austerity of Greece where public sector pay was cut by around a fifth in cash terms, many were sacked from public sector jobs and mass unemployment rose to very high levels. It would still be good to boost UK growth, remembering austerity is something which hits through slow growth in real incomes as well as short change schools and social care.