Conservative budget will hit the poor hardest, warn experts

Experts have criticised the government's budget as "regressive" and have said it could increase the burden on social care.

The Institute of Fiscal Studies (IFS) has criticised the government’s budget as “regressive” and have said it could increase the burden on social care.

The IFS’s analysis of the Treasury’s budget showed the measures would leave the elderly and the poor disproportionately worse off.

The institute concluded that chancellor George Osborne’s claims that his budget, announced in June this year, was progressive were unfounded and would result in a regressive tax and benefits system.

Its analysis states that the measures would see the poorest 10% of the population lose a bigger cash sum from their income than either the second, third or forth richest groups.

Commenting on the findings, Dwayne Johnson, chair of the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services'(Adass) older people’s policy network, said: “It has the potential to draw in a greater number of people into requiring support from statutory agencies.”

He added that the budget could endanger the physical and mental health of those already receiving support.

Dave Prentis, Unison general secretary, said that public services would be left to pick up the pieces when the poor were made poorer by the budget’s changes: “But local services are set to disappear,” he added, “taking away this vital safety net, just as people need it most”.

Lord Victor Adebowale, chief executive of not-for-profit social care provider Turning Point, said: “It makes good economic sense for a society to provide services for the poorest and to ensure that the poorest are always being pulled up out of poverty and anything that mitigates against the poor should be resisted.”

He said the budget was a clear warning sign that the government was failing vulnerable people.

The Treasury rejected the IFS analysis and said: “It is selective, ignoring the pro-growth and employment effects of budget measures such as helping households move from benefits into work, and reductions in Corporation Tax.”

However, Lord Adebowale countered: “The IFS aren’t people who do calculations on the back of a fag packet and they don’t have political interests at all. When they point out that a budget is regressive they have to be taken seriously whatever the Treasury says.”

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