One of the important features of austerity introduced into the UK from 2010 onwards, at a point when the economy had not shown any significant signs of recovery, is that it was popular. Indeed, as many people appeared to blame the previous Labour government for the need for austerity as the Coalition government actually implementing it, because the deficit had increased while Labour had been in power.
If we acknowledge, as we should, that austerity was the wrong policy to pursue, and that it had harmful effects on everyone (an average loss of around £10,000 per household according to my most recent estimate), why was this policy popular? Many people would argue that the macroeconomic case for fiscal stimulus was complex, while simple analogies between governments and households were easier to grasp. However I have also argued that the media played a large role in focusing on the latter and largely ignoring the former.