Who has been hit hardest by austerity?Gosh, that’s a tough one. Wait – what paper is this from again?
Analysis by the Treasury suggests the impact of changes to taxes and benefits has been broadly regressive. The more you earn, the less you’ve lost as a proportion of your income, except for top earners, who have been hit relatively harder. This isn’t surprising – benefit cuts and VAT rises have hit the poor, income tax cuts have helped the middle and upper middle, while pension changes and child benefit withdrawal have affected the richest.So...broadly OK?
Well, no. Of course not...
But it’s not just about income. Inevitably, tax and spending decisions affect different groups – women, men, disabled – differently. But the Treasury has never published any analysis of the cumulative impact of changes to tax and spending on these groups.
As part of its mandate to ensure the impact of policy changes on “protected groups” is taken into account properly, the Equality and Human Rights Commission asked analysis firm Landman Economics and the National Institute of Economic and Social Research to produce just such a “cumulative impact assessment”.Aaaaaand….that’s where I quit reading!