Since 2010/11, successive UK governments have chosen to impose a programme of austerity in an attempt to reduce the budget deficit. This period of austerity is set to be the longest pause in real terms spending growth on record. However, there is a growing consensus that austerity has failed economically, fiscally and socially. Instead, as a society, we must use this moment to create a more fundamental shift away from the ‘consolidation state’ towards an ‘investment state’. To do this, the state must have a bigger role – and must invest more – in four ‘social deficits’. Read more.