There\’s no particular surprise here

Britain\’s leading independent tax experts today flatly rejected the coalition government\’s claims to have shielded poor families from five years of austerity when they described George Osborne\’s emergency budget as \”clearly regressive\”.

In a direct challenge to Treasury claims that the package of spending cuts and tax increases announced in June was fair, the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) said welfare cuts meant working families on the lowest incomes – particularly those with children – were the biggest losers.

I\’m really not sure why this is even being argued about.

The great gusher of money that Labour sprayed around the place went largely to pensioners and low income families with children. In reversing that gusher (for the clear and obvious reason that we cannot afford it) it will, obviously enough, be pensioners and low income families with children that lose out from the current arrangements.

I don\’t really see any problem with that logic.

Now, of course, you can go on to say that pensioners and low income families with children shouldn\’t lose out but that in itself would be to accept the New Labour settlement as being settled. That the size of the State, the size and amount of redistribution that was enacted over the past 13 years should now be set in stone and stay forever.

Something which is, as you might note, not something which the Coalition actually accepts as a premise.

Another way of putting this. New Labour tried a particular move towards a more redistributive tax and benefits system. Some groups gained from this. The new government thinks that that particular move wasn\’t a good idea. They are thus reversing it: therefore, of course those who gained initially are now going to lose out as the reversal takes place.

No Parliament may bind its successor remember and we do seem to have voted in a government which doesn\’t accept the ratchet to a more social democratic permanent state.

So, err, OK, the poor and the old are going to lose what they gained under the last government. And?

5 thoughts on “There\’s no particular surprise here”

  1. “we do seem to have voted in a government which doesn’t accept the ratchet to a more social democratic permanent state”: No, “we” didn’t, though there;s no particular surprise in your repeatedly peddling this nonsense. Through a combination of Labour incompetence and exhaustion, Tory dissembling about their true intentions, and outright lies and trickery from the disgusting Lib Dem scumbags, we have a government that nobody expected and nobody voted for, or could possibly have voted for. The best that can be hoped is that it collapses as soon as possible, so that another general election can produce a government with a clear majority – ideally (though I’m not holding my breath) on a programme set out to the voters *before* they cast their votes. (If that smarmy git Clegg happens to get slung out of Parliament as a side-effect, so much the better.) In the meantime, it is amusing, though occasionally also irritating, to read the lucubrations of a writer whose own party got a laughably small share of the vote, and now finds himself defending a ramshackle and opportunist regime whenever it does some of the dirty work that nobody actually wanted UKIP to do, with no mandate whatever to do any of it. Worse, you defend it here when it craps on the poor, the sick and the old, while pretending in other posts that you give a damn about any of them: the hypocrisy is getting very tiresome.
    And you have the gall to complain about politicians being liars and hypocrites?

  2. You are right in what you say. However Osborne claimed his changes were ‘progressive’ and IFS are arguing that they are not. Osborne should have been making your argument.

  3. Seems to me that “Progressive” is one of those words that doesn’t really mean anything. Looking at a web definition:

    # favoring or promoting progress; “progressive schools”
    # favoring or promoting reform (often by government action)
    # (of taxes) adjusted so that the rate increases as the amount of income increases
    # gradually advancing in extent
    # a tense of verbs used in describing action that is on-going
    # (of a card game or a dance) involving a series of sections for which the participants successively change place or relative position; “progressive euchre”; “progressive tournaments”
    # liberal: a person who favors a political philosophy of progress and reform and the protection of civil liberties
    # advancing in severity; “progressive paralysis”

    Seems to me that the budget can certainly be argued to promote progress. Just how you define progress is up to you, but this budget certainly promotes some form of it…

    It’s definitely promoting reform – although again you may want to think about how exactly reform is defined.

    One thing to note. “Progressive” doesn’t mean “favouring the poor at the expense of the rich” – but an awful lot of people seem to think that it does. Problem is that we have an awful lot of poor, and not that many rich – doesn’t matter how high we tax them, it’s still not going to provide enough money to put all the poor where they want to be.

  4. Sod Them All,

    I would argue that our parliamentary system works by having many constituencies choosing their MPs who are sent to parliament to form a government. The government is made from the largest group (hopefully a majority) of MPs who share sufficiently similar views to work together.

    Thus, unless you can show that MPs were returned who did not get the highest number of votes in their constituencies, then we did indeed get the government we voted for.

    I would argue this, but you know it already, of course. So instead, I will just say thanks for your use of “lucubrations.”

  5. The Pedant-General

    ” it will, obviously enough, be pensioners and low income families with children that lose out from the current arrangements.

    I don’t really see any problem with that logic.”

    Quite. But it IS a problem if you have quite specifically said that these sorts of people WON’T lose out.

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