X

Create an account to continue reading.

Registered readers have access to our blogs and a limited number of magazine articles
For unlimited access to The Spectator, subscribe below

Registered readers have access to our blogs and a limited number of magazine articles

Sign in to continue

Already have an account?

What's my subscriber number?

Subscribe now from £1 a week

Online

Unlimited access to The Spectator including the full archive from 1828

Print

Weekly delivery of the magazine

App

Phone & tablet edition of the magazine

Spectator Club

Subscriber-only offers, events and discounts
 
View subscription offers

Already a subscriber?

or

Subscribe now for unlimited access

ALL FROM JUST £1 A WEEK

View subscription offers

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

Thank you for creating an account – Your subscriber number was not recognised though. To link your subscription visit the My Account page

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

X

Login

Don't have an account? Sign up
X

Subscription expired

Your subscription has expired. Please go to My Account to renew it or view subscription offers.

X

Forgot Password

Please check your email

If the email address you entered is associated with a web account on our system, you will receive an email from us with instructions for resetting your password.

If you don't receive this email, please check your junk mail folder.

X

It's time to subscribe.

You've read all your free Spectator magazine articles for this month.

Subscribe now for unlimited access – from just £1 a week

You've read all your free Spectator magazine articles for this month.

Subscribe now for unlimited access

Online

Unlimited access to The Spectator including the full archive from 1828

Print

Weekly delivery of the magazine

App

Phone & tablet edition of the magazine

Spectator Club

Subscriber-only offers, events and discounts
X

Sign up

What's my subscriber number? Already have an account?

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

Thank you for creating an account – Your subscriber number was not recognised though. To link your subscription visit the My Account page

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

X

Your subscriber number is the 8 digit number printed above your name on the address sheet sent with your magazine each week.

Entering your subscriber number will enable full access to all magazine articles on the site.

If you cannot find your subscriber number then please contact us on customerhelp@subscriptions.spectator.co.uk or call 0330 333 0050.

You can create an account in the meantime and link your subscription at a later time. Simply visit the My Account page, enter your subscriber number in the relevant field and click 'submit changes'.

Coffee House

A budget for the squeezed middle

6 December 2012

4:55 PM

6 December 2012

4:55 PM

Ed Miliband may have coined the term, but it seems George Osborne has the squeezed middle on his mind too. The overall effect of yesterday’s budget* was to take from the rich, take from the poor and give to the middle. The IFS has crunched the numbers and produced the latest in its series of decile charts:

The bottom half of households lose out mainly due to the Chancellor’s decision to increase most working-age benefits by only 1 per cent a year for the next three years, and hence cutting them in real terms.

[Alt-Text]


The rich, meanwhile, have been hit mainly by the cut in the tax-free allowance for pension contributions and the below-inflation 1 per cent increase in the point where the 40p income tax rate kicks in.

It’s those above the middle but not in the top 10 per cent who come out best, benefitting from yesterday’s two big tax cuts: the cancellation of January’s 3p per litre fuel duty rise, and the extra £235 rise in the point at which you start paying income tax.

The IFS has also produced a decile chart for the effects of all the austerity measures introduced since January 2010. The picture is similar: the richest 10 per cent have lost the most, followed by the poorest, while households just above the middle (especially those without kids) and pensioners (ironically, given March’s ‘granny tax’ headlines) have been relatively well-protected.

Of course, this is only the impact of the government’s tax and welfare policies, not how the various groups have been affected by the economy (and other measures such as Quantitative Easing) in recent years.

*It may be called the Autumn Statement, but in the words of IFS director Paul Johnson, ‘We got pretty much the full gamut of tax and spending announcements that you’d expect in a Budget, and some big fiscal and economic news to boot. The idea that there is only one Budget a year has been laid pretty firmly to rest.’

Give something clever this Christmas – a year’s subscription to The Spectator for just £75. And we’ll give you a free bottle of champagne. Click here.


Show comments
Close