21 October 2010

Surprise! Britain Subject to Laws of Gravitation: S@#* Still Rolls Down Hill Onto the Poor in Budget Cuts

"The tax and benefit changes are regressive rather than progressive across most of the income distribution. And when we add in the new measures announced yesterday this is, unsurprisingly, reinforced.

Our analysis continues to show that, with the notable exception of the richest 2%, the tax and benefit components of the fiscal consolidation are, overall, being implemented in a regressive way." ~ Carl Emerson, Institute for Fiscal Studies

Margaret Thatcher, 1975. Phototograph © Srdja Djukanovic.

When Margaret Thatcher proposed budget cuts of about 4% in the 1980s her Conservative policy was depicted as draconian and regressive. And rightly so. Now the Conservative/Lib-Dem coalition has upped the ante, proposing cuts significantly deeper than those Thatcher peddled. And, of course, in presenting their policy the coalition insisted that their proposal would be even-handed. Ooopps! Turns out that that is not true. It only took a day for the independent analysts to say so. And, of course, once the spending cuts exacerbate the ongoing recessionary economic trends, things will only get worse. Cameron/Clegg are not just Thatcher in drag, they have taken the hormone treatment too.
P.S.: It is already tomorrow (Friday) on the east coast - I am still in Oregon, preparing to give some comments at a conference in Portland. But here is a link to Paul Krugman's column in The Times in which he alternately bemoans and mocks the Conservative/Lib-Dem budget blunder.

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