Saturday, 23 October 2010

Confirmed: Cuts will hit poorest hardest

Working people, the unemployed and the sick will be hit 10 times harder by spending cuts than previous Con-Dem predictions, a new TUC analysis revealed on Friday.

TUC-commissioned economists shattered myths peddled by Chancellor George Osborne and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg that the spending review was about "fairness."

They revealed that the poorest 10 per cent will be hit 15 times harder than the richest 10 per cent.

The new analysis stands in stark contrast to government claims that overall the cuts would hit the worst off only five times more than the richest in society.

The TUC originally predicted in its Where The Money Goes report that cuts of 25 per cent by 2012-13 would mean that the poorest 10 per cent of households would lose around 20 per cent of their income.

But using data from the Spending Review the TUC showed that overall cuts to public spending - excluding benefits and tax credits - of £48 billion by 2014-15 will be even more regressive, partly because of deep cuts to services which are disproportionately used by the poorest households, such as social housing and social care.

TUC commissioned economist Howard Reed pointed out that if the cuts were examined by their social "function" rather than by department, the picture looks even bleaker.

"Social care will be cut by 20 per cent, social housing 24 per cent, policing 20 per cent and higher and further education 27 per cent," he said.

TUC general secretary Brendan Barber said: "Even when the effects of benefit changes are taken out of the equation, cuts to services surgically target the poorest households and leave the rich relatively untouched."

And Haringey Council leader Claire Kober warned that cuts to local budgets, services and housing allowances will make it impossible for local authorities to cope with the influx.

"We are being set up to fail," she said.

Left Economics Advisory Project co-ordinator Andrew Fisher called on the TUC to co-ordinate resistance to the coalition's "obscene attacks."

He said: "The TUC analysis of Osborne's spending review is to be congratulated and confirms what the IFS said the day before and what our instincts told us all immediately: the CSR was all-out class war.

"At the June Budget and again this week, Osborne lied to us that his cuts would be fair.

"Within a matter of hours again his lies have been irrefutably exposed."

*This article appeared in the Morning Star on Sat 23 Oct

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