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Daily Tax Report: International

Arms Race of Election Pledges Comes Too Late for Many in U.K.

Nov. 19, 2019, 5:00 AM

Britain’s decade of austerity is coming to an end as politicians pursue an arms race of spending pledges before next month’s election. For the 90,000 or so people of Hartlepool, relief will be too late.

The run-down town on England’s North Sea coast was once a thriving steelmaking center. Like swathes of post-industrial Britain, it voted overwhelmingly in 2016 to leave the European Union in what amounted to a protest over the Conservative-led spending curbs that followed the financial crisis.

While Hartlepool’s decline began much earlier, austerity took a brutal toll. The town is among the most deprived in the...

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