Friday, 22 October 2010

Deficit deniers? What about cuts deniers?

Nick Clegg was yesterday trying to rubbish the Institute of Fiscal Studies' evidence that, with the exception of the richest 2% of the population, the least well-off would be hit the hardest, and families with children would lose out the most due to ConDem cuts.

"Distorted and a complete nonsense", was his response to the IFS in the Guardian. . Well, there speaks someone who knows about distortion, if you look at the findings of the 'respected' IFS (The Guardian's description).

Far from the spending review being being 'progressive', the IFS point out that, "Overall, families with children seem to be the biggest losers.” and middle-class households would also be among the worst hit, losing an estimated £10,000 a year under cuts to public services and tax rises.

Perhaps Clegg's anger stems from being found out on the Government's claim they were cutting less than Labour would have. His Chancellor claimed that cuts to departments whose budgets were not protected averaged 19%, compared with 20% implied by Labour’s plans.

But the IFS pointed out that the figures failed to take into account the £6bn of cuts already announced in the June Budget while the actual figure under Labour would only have been 16%. Nothing to be proud of from Labour but still less by anyone's figures.

Those who disagree with the Government's ideological attack on public services (using the deficit as a smokescreen) are accused of being 'deficit deniers'. On that basis, there is a growing number in the cabinet who are doing a fair job of being 'cuts deniers'.

Not true, to be fair, of the host of Tory MPs standing and cheering in the Commons to celebrate vicious cuts to public services and welfare. They know why they're making cuts. No need to dress them up as 'progressive'. It's what they came to parliament to do.

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