THURROCK MP and Conservative health minister Jackie Doyle-Price has been criticisied for telling a debate on social care in The House of Commons that “austerity is the mother of invention” reports the Huffington Post.
The Thurrock MP recounted a conversation she had with a council leader during an opposition day debate called by Labour shadow social care minister Barbara Keeley, who is concerned about funding gaps in the sector.
She told the Commons: “Let’s recognise it has been hard in the past, we’ve made money available in recent years, we know local authorities have had to face challenges.
“But as one local authority leader put it to me, austerity has been the mother of invention, and I would congratulate local authorities on the efforts they have made.”
In response to loud challenges from the Labour benches, the health minister added: “That’s come from a local authority leader.”
Shadow local government minister Andrew Gwynne said he was “astounded” by Doyle-Price’s remarks.
“It is illuminating to hear her thinking,” he said.
“I am astounded that a minister of the crown thinks that austerity is the ‘mother of invention’. It’s a play on words of the old English proverb that ‘necessity is the mother of invention’.
“She might be quoting a councillor, but she did not deny it was her view too. There is nothing necessary about austerity. It is a political choice – and it’s a choice that is driving up inequality and unfairness.”
Doyle-Price said she had simply been “paying tribute to the innovation shown by local authority leaders delivering better outcomes with less money”.
The full article can be found here.