Thursday, October 21, 2010

A fake's 'progress'

The IFS have, predictably, torn the Tories' 'progressive' claims for their Comprehensive Spending Review to ribbons. The headline is: the spending review is overwhelmingly regressive, with the poorest 10% suffering most. The 'total consolidation', including Labour's measures, will bite more into the income of the richest 2% - but only because of the previous government's tax policies. (Follow Faisal Islam's tweets on the IFS's briefing). Far from being progressive, it's quite a deliberate assault on the poorest, and "risks" - so says this economist - "spiralling poverty". The cuts to social housing, for example, will result in a trebling of rent for new council house tenants. It's also worth mentioning that the bank levy, raising a miser's sum of £2.5bn, will coincide with corporation tax cuts, leaving the biggest banks better off. Note that even the solitary figure of £2.5bn is much lower even than the total sum of expected bonuses, which will rise to £6.8bn this year.

Relatedly, check out China Mieville's 'letter to a progressive Liberal Democrat'.