Since day one, the Coalition’s economic plans have been argued over their fairness and their progressiveness (if that’s even a word). We’re all very familiar with the IFS and their take, but I thought it be more appropriate to focus upon the Coalition’s shifting reasons for their policies “fairness”. To begin with it was the idea that the burden of the cuts were to fall upon the higher earners (though of course it turned out to fall upon more on the poorest, women, the ethnic minorities, etc, but I won’t go into that again), but recently, Cleggy in particular shifted the argument to that this crisis shouldn’t be left for our children and that they shouldn’t bear the brunt. This argument in itself is a reasonable enough, but that of course assumes that your children are NOT effected by the problems caused by the current generation’s problems in the future AND now.
This was something I realised the Coalition was failing (again) upon when a very angry bloke (youngish and I think he was ginger, rather aggressive to about 19 mins in) pointed out the sheer contradiction between this argument and reality on last Thursday’s question time. The IFS worked it out to show that the average family with children will have 6.7% drop in income compared to 2.7% with families with no children, that’s a whole 4%! This is all from cuts in tax credits for poorer families, scrapping child benefits which will hit those whose families are just above the £45k threshold when one parent stays at home, an actual real term drop in investment into schools (due to an increased number of pupils), scrapping the building schools for the future programme and most relevant for us students, raising tuition fees to £7k a year. Cleggy once agreed and respected the IFS, but how times change and how politicians (who supposedly represent “new” politics) often disregard their once respectable views to justify their actions.