Forget the spin that yesterday’s Budget was “progressive”, with policies that make “the richest pay more than the poorest”. Actually, don’t forget it: denounce it as a filthy lie. The exact opposite is true.
It’s been well noted over the last day that George Osborne is guilty of subterfuge in publishing a distributional analysis that ignored policy changes applying after 2012-13, that included Labour’s NI increases, and that omitted some of the new policies in the Budget.
And now, thanks to the Institute for Fiscal Studies, we have a clearer picture. And it’s stunningly different. This chart shows the impact on different income groups, by 2014-15, of the tax and benefits changes Labour introduced since the financial crisis broke and also the effects of the policies announced yesterday:
Labour’s are textbook egalitarianism, hitting the richest hardest and the poorest hardly at all. Yesterday’s Tory/Lib Dem policies are the exact opposite.
The IFS adds that it hasn’t been able to take into account “cuts to housing benefit, DLA [disability living allowance] and reforms to in-year changes to tax credit awards”. But: “These are all likely to hit the poorest half more than the richest half.”
Funny how it doesn’t get called ‘class war’ when you attack the poorest.