In order to explain the Austerity Delusion, I actually calculated the costs and benefits for the government (and not taking wider social costs into account) of closing a school that costs £5m p.a. to run. It was about -£3m in the first year (i.e. they save £5m, but it costs £8m to do) and -£1m to -£2m after that. If we then add social costs of increased crime, drugs, lack of earnings for former pupils, it really mounts up alarmingly. Now think of all the youth clubs, libraries, care centres etc. etc. that have been closed and you begin to realise why government debt is proving impossible to reduce.