British govt's austerity cuts to hit poorest hardest: think tank (2)

19:47, October 22, 2010      

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"The Treasury claimed that overall the tax and benefit measures yet to be implemented are progressive. But this analysis excludes some measures that we think it is possible to make a rough estimate for."

He said the IFS analysis continued to show that, "with the notable exception of the richest two percent, the tax and benefit components of the fiscal consolidation are, overall, being implemented in a regressive way."

However, he added that this did not necessarily mean it was unfair, -- "fairness will always be in the eye of the beholder," he said.

Prime Minister David Cameron's coalition government has been forthright in saying that the cuts would be implemented across all social groups and that the British were "all in this together."

Osborne said in his spending review speech on Wednesday that the greatest burden of cuts and taxation changes would fall on "those with the broadest backs" meaning the rich.

One of the major areas of cuts is in welfare spending, which was already earmarked for an 11 billion-pound (17.3 billion-dollars) cut and which received a further cut of 7.5 billion pounds on Wednesday.

"The cuts to welfare spending mean that benefits will be focussed more on pensioners and less on families with children," said Emmerson.Source: Xinhua
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