Insights from the UK and beyond
Treasury tables challenge notion of a ‘progressive’ spending review
During his speech to the House of Commons announcing how he would cut government spending, Chancellor George Osborne insisted that the richest 10 percent of Britons would bear the brunt of austerity measures.
But a glance at the tables in the Treasury’s own Spending Review report suggest a different picture.
Chart B.5 on page 99 of the report shows that – taken on its own – the Spending Review, which includes benefits and welfare cuts, will affect the poorest 10 percent of the population the hardest. Only by including Budget measures do the top 10 percent come off worst.
The Conservatives have pushed aggressively the notion that ‘we’re all in this together’, but, as public service cuts bite and jobs are lost, fewer and fewer people may be convinced.