SKEWERING THE POOR

30 January 2015


Tax and benefit impact
The Institute for fiscal studies (IFS) has published its conclusions on how tax and benefit changes of Tory Libdem government since 2010 have affected different groups. The report is the latest in several which explore the Tory Libdem government’s financial and related policies and reach common conclusions; it is here (open the pdf). Broadly the IFS report shows that two groups have lost most: the richest ten percent and the poorest ten percent. The poorest have lost because they are more heavily dependent on benefits and they include people too poor to pay income tax to begin with and therefore gain from the Tory Libdem raising of the point at which you begin to pay income tax.

Users of public services
The IFS model does not include cuts to public services which again affect the poor most. The impact of the cuts in local government funds and thus different users of council services in Cornwall is explored in this budget report (click on full impact assessment report in the text). The report identifies the group who use the services most and who therefore who stood to lose most when they are cut. Cornwall Council took mitigating actions to reduce the adverse impact on them.

The bitter fruits of the Tory Libdem government
I wrote last November in the post The bitter fruits of coalition about several reports on similar topics. The conclusions were similar.

More damning reports
And a nine-report study, covering more ground, has similar financial conclusions. It is summarised in the Guardian 27 January 2015.

Dumping the most vulnerable
The latest assault on public services is the ending of direct central government funds for the local welfare assistance scheme which helps the most vulnerable in Cornwall and elsewhere. See the post Government dumps the vulnerable 24 December 2914.

Yes, they’re stercora
We can now say with confidence that overall the financial policies of the Tory Libdem government since 2010 have fallen disproportionately on the poorest. Do not expect admission and repentance from the parties but do ask them.

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