The new Conservative/Lib Dem government has done a wonderful job of masking its extreme right wing economics with flowery language and carefully crafted soundbites. Cameron has insisted that his government is ‘progressive’ and will give ‘power back to the people’, claiming the new government cuts will actually improve social mobility (see his ludicrous claims on cutting housing benefits). While the rosy picture Cameron his treasury secretary George Osborne have been painting works fine in theory, the reality will be entirely different.The government been busy claiming the gigantic cuts across the board will not hit the poor as hard as everyone else, but according to the very highly regarded independent Institute for Fiscal Studies, the cuts disproportionately hit the poor:
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.
The IFS said it had always been sceptical about Osborne’s claim that the budget was “progressive” but added that this instant judgment had been reinforced by a study of proposed changes to housing benefit, disability allowances and tax credits due to come in between now and 2015…..
IFS concluded: “Once all of the benefit cuts are considered, the tax and benefit changes announced in the emergency budget are clearly regressive as, on average, they hit the poorest households more than those in the upper middle of the income distribution in cash, let alone percentage, terms.”
The sad truth is, the Tory party has, and always will be the party of the rich. While there was much to criticize in the New Labour project, it at least attempted to address social inequality with real measures (ie. money). The Conservatives are just paying lip service to it while fulfilling their traditional role as protectors of the powerful and disciplinarians of the poor.
Ben Cohen is the editor and founder of The Daily Banter. He lives in Washington DC where he does podcasts, teaches Martial Arts, and tries to be a good father. He would be extremely disturbed if you took him too seriously.