THOSE CUTS: PROGRESSIVE OR REGRESSIVE?

Are the measures announced in HM Government’s Comprehensive Spending Review progressive or regressive, i.e. do they favour the poorest or the richest, relative to their respective incomes? Or are they totally fair, as claimed? You might well think that this debate has been flogged to death, so I won’t add my inexpert economic analysis; however the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) now states their view that they are on balance regressive.

That’s also the view of Tim Harford, presenter of “More or Less”, one of my favourite radio programmes. Here’s a clip of what he said on the radio on 21 October: http://news.bbc.co.uk/today/hi/today/newsid_9113000/9113265.stm

(BTW, I found that clip easily, from the very user-friendly “Today” website. The programme is of course a National Treasure, though that other NT, Sandi Toksvig, says: “I love the Today programme: twenty minutes of news, crammed into three hours”)

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