This taken verbatim from The Guardian. I have bolded one part, which the paper's website did not:
"Somehow the Institute for Fiscal Studies has become Britain's public spending regulator. In the debate on whether or not budget measures are progressive, the IFS is the umpire. Carl Emmerson, the IFS's acting director, has just said that it will take the institute a day or two to crunch the numbers properly. But his initial verdict will worry George Osborne. This is what Emmerson just told BBC News:
The cuts to public services that the Treasury has been able to model impact those in the bottom half of the income distribution compared to the top. Why is it overall progressive? It's progressive because of the tax measures Labour set out that the new government chose to keep ... The stuff we heard about today, the new stuff today, clearly is not progressive on the Treasury's analysis. It's only once you add it in to the things we heard about in June and the things Mr [Alistair] Darling had already put in the pipeline for next year that it becomes progressive."
So, let me clearly state that in powerpoint style bullet points:
- Alistair Darling's *Labour* cuts were progressive
- The added cuts - the ones on top that have come from Osborne's thinking are not, and therefore by definition are regressive.
I can't put it any clearer than that really without getting a bit too angry to articulate myself. Doubtless I will return to this over the coming days in bite sized segments.