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There are few things in life that people across the political spectrum will agree on. One perhaps is the desire for the next generations to do better than we do. It is therefore surprising, to me at least, the willingness of many in politics to cast the next generation aside. For decades, political parties of all colours have skewed policies (and taxpayers’ cash) toward the grey vote. And who can blame them? People aged 18-24 are half as likely to vote as those aged 65+, our politicians are simply playing the numbers game.

Perhaps that is why it is so widely expected that the new Chancellor, Phillip Hammond, will abandon plans to deliver a budget surplus in his Autumn Statement later this month. If he chooses to do so, he will abandon the very first pledge in the 2015 Conservative manifesto that delivered the government an unexpected majority just 18 months ago. But in that very same Autumn Statement he will likely confirm that the Basic State Pension will rise by 2.5% in April, more than twice the rate of inflation. That’s because the Government will choose to keep its manifesto pledge to maintain the triple-lock that sees the state pension rise every year by the higher of inflation, earnings of 2.5%.

So why might Hammond give up on the budget surplus? In the wake of the Brexit decision, some forecasters suggest the public finances face an £84bn black hole, while others, including the IMF, predict stronger growth as the weaker pound benefits exporters and brings floods of tourists to the UK spending on high-end goods. Equally, the Prime Minister has stated she wants to break away from the monetary-policy approach of the Osborne years and to use fiscal policy levers to do more of the hard work in rebalancing the economy and boosting exports. We’ve had numerous signals from Hinkley Point, HS2 and Heathrow that the government is keen to press on with infrastructure investment from both the state and private sectors. While this is good for the economy, and likely means tax cuts for investment as well as higher public spending, without measures that equally reign back day-to-day expenditure the deficit will grow, dramatically.

At a time when unemployment nears record lows, employment is at an all-time high and there are more businesses operating in the UK than ever before, surely we should be redoubling our efforts to fix the roof while the sun is shining?

The complexities of unwinding our EU-UK relationship may well put bumps in the economic road ahead, but to use the EU referendum result to add billions of pounds to the national debt is a bitter pill to expect young workers to swallow. Speaking to voters on both sides of the referendum debate, it is clear that the decision for many was less about the impact of Brexit on them, but about their children and grandchildren. After a decade shaped by turbulent economic events, voters rightly thought about the future and how Britain can be most successful in a globalised world, in a way that ensure those who come after them to have greater opportunities than they did. Abandoning plans to deliver a budget surplus, which in itself would have taken 150 years to pay off our debt, does nothing to help achieve this.

That inbuilt generational inequality in public spending is perhaps highlighted by the political impasse that is the pensions triple lock. Having promised bagfuls of sweeties to a generations of voters who are twice as likely as their grandchildren to turn out and vote, it’s near impossible to take those sweets away. The Cameron Government was right to prioritise protecting pensioners from the majority of cuts – pensioners, often on fixed incomes, do not have the same flexibility to adjust to income changes that working-age people do. However, over the 6 years since 2010 the basic state pension rose from £97.65 to £119.30 (23%), while average weekly earnings rose at half that rate, just 12%. The triple lock has done its job. In closing the gap that had developed between pensions and incomes follow de-linking in the 1980s, even Iain Duncan Smith now believes it is time to end the pensioner preference. With the start of the new Single-Tier pension guaranteeing new pensioners at least £155 per week, the state pension has been restored to near the level it would have been had delinking not occurred.

Theresa May has spoken extensively about opportunity and aspiration. If we all agree, which I believe we can, that we desire for the next generation to be better off than those who have gone before, the Chancellor must use his first fiscal event in three weeks’ time to ensure the burden of public spending today is not left for others to repay.

Public Sector debt has trebled in ten years and is still set to grow by a further £55bn this financial year. Put another way, 8 years after the financial crash, this year we will borrow £1,700 a year for every person in the UK in work. So, as the Chancellor prepares to borrow more to build new homes, roads and invest in our nation’s infrastructure, he needs to address the reality that unless he acts to prevent it, it will be this same generation he is seeking to help who will pay the burden of his borrowing.

For a generation of voters who join the workforce with lower earnings expectations than their parents, higher debts, higher housing costs and higher taxes, as the Chancellor himself told the Conservative Party conference “piling up debt for our children and our grandchildren to pay off is not only unsustainable…… it’s unfair…… and it’s downright un-Conservative.”

While he is right to act in the long-term interest of the nation by boosting spending on green energy, transport connections, and new homes it would be wrong to borrow to build homes that young people cannot afford with debt they are expected to pay back. Since the turn of the Millennium, our country has run budget deficits averaging £74bn a year. That’s £17,000 extra debt for every man, woman and child in the country, or to look at it differently, the deposit on a first home.

To be brave is to be bold. The new Chancellor has an electoral mandate to eliminate the deficit and a Prime Minister who is determined to tackle to gap “between a more prosperous older generation and a struggling younger generation.” In his Autumn Statement this month, he can get on and deliver on both.

Owen Meredith is Deputy Chairman of Tory Reform Group, he writes here in a personal capacity. The views expressed in this article are those of the author, not necessarily those of Bright Blue.