Theresa May, as part of her Tory Party leadership bid, has committed to abandoning the target to return the UK Government’s budget to surplus by 2020. The 2020 target was previously seen as driving Osborne’s austerity measures, and is widely believed to have influenced 'Middle England's' dissatisfaction with their present government, and was one of the factors which successfully skewed the referendum towards a Brexit vote. There has also been talk about a further round of Quantitative Easing (QE). So, purely as a reminder:
"Quantitative easing is an unconventional monetary policy in which a central bank purchases government securities or other securities from the market in order to lower interest rates and increase the money supply. Quantitative easing increases the money supply by flooding financial institutions with capital in an effort to promote increased lending and liquidity. Quantitative easing is considered when short-term interest rates are at or approaching zero, and does not involve the printing of new banknotes."
In old money, the Government, or its Agents, buys back securities it has previously sold, using borrowed money, and eases that money back into circulation where it percolates down through the market, generating growth. This undoubtedly reduced the severity of the last recession and was great news for public sector providers. The major school building program we saw during the recession would, most probably, not have been fundable without the earlier QE program.
It may be clever borrowing but, it's still increased debt. There's still a payback but it's likely to be to a flatter, less painful profile - more like a mortgage that a short term payback loan, the profile ultimately depending on what pain level the government believes the electorate is prepared to bear.
Abandoning the 2020 target will almost certainly achieve political popularity, as will reduced mortgage payments from an interest rate cut. Restored public services, improved job security and more disposable income, backed with even token concessions from the EU, might just take the heat out of the debate.
Because, from the current mood, it looks like any attempt to invoke Article 50 could provoke a lengthy, bitterly fought constitutional battle.