IFS: Budget not progressive
The IFS Budget analysis concludes that, contrary to George Osborne’s claim, this was not a Budget that protected the poorest. It also concludes that the evidence for progressivity presented in the Budget was misleading because it only looks at reforms planned to 2012-13. These reforms appear progressive because they include genuinely progressive measures introduced by the previous Government and they don’t take account of the regressive measures to be introduced after 2013. In addition, neither the Treasury’s analysis nor the IFS’s are able to take account of some further measures (such as cuts in Housing Benefit) which are also likely to be regressive.
The IFS analysis concludes pretty bluntly that the:
overall impact of yesterday’s measures was regressive.
This a pretty serious dent to Osborne’s proud claim that his deficit reduction will be fair. But also to his oft-repeated assertion that he is being straight with the British people. There could be an uncomfortable few hours in the news studios to come! And expect Labour to throw this at the Lib Dems and the Government over and over again.