In the run up to the general election the Institute of Fiscal Studies (IFS) said this about the Liberal Democrat manifesto:

“The highly respected Institute for Fiscal Studies, in its analysis of the parties’ financial plans, said the Lib Dems had the smallest black hole of the main three in their funding schemes, and that there were no hidden tax rises on top.”

Obviously we as a party were jumping up an down with delight with such a judgement in the week before the election. The great and the good of the party Vince Cable, Chris Huhne and of course Nick Clegg were all over the headlines expounding the wise judgements of the analysts at the IFS.

The IFS has called the comprehensive spending review “more regressive than progressive” and “unfair” saying the poorer families with children would be the “biggest losers” of the cuts. Excluding the wealthiest 2% of the population, who the IFS assesses will be the hardest hit, it says the poorest 10% of the population will, on average, lose about 5.5% of their net income compared with roughly 4.5% for the top 10%.

So these very sage like analysts from April/May should obviously be taken seriously by Nick Clegg. Not a bit of it, in today’s Guardian he says:

“It goes back to a culture of how you measure fairness that took root under Gordon Brown’s time, where fairness was seen through one prism and one prism only which was the tax and benefits system. It is a complete nonsense to apply that measure, which is a slightly desiccated Treasury measure. People do not live only on the basis of the benefits they receive. They also depend on public services, such as childcare and social care. All of those things have been airbrushed out of the picture by the IFS.”

Yes Nick. But we are making fundamental cuts that are going to affect some of those other services to if we are not careful.

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