Revealed: how coalition has helped rich by hitting poor

Published on The Guardian, by Daniel Boffey, Nov 15, 2014: study shows gains for wealthier half of population, delivering a blow to George Osborne’s claims on fairness;

A landmark study of the coalition’s tax and welfare policies six months before the general election reveals how money has been transferred from the poorest to the better off, apparently refuting the chancellor of the exchequer’s claims that the country has been “all in it together”.

According to independent research to be published on Monday and seen by the Observer, George Osborne has been engaged in a significant transfer of income from the least well-off half of the population to the more affluent in the past four years. Those with the lowest incomes have been hit hardest.  

In an intervention that will come as a major blow to the government’s claim to have shared out the burden of austerity equally, the report by economists at the London School of Economics and the Institute for Social and Economic Research at the University of Essex finds that:

  • Sweeping changes to benefits and income tax have had the effect of switching income from the poorer half of households to most of the richer half, with the poorest 5% in the country in terms of income losing nearly 3% of what they would have earned if Britain’s tax and welfare system of May 2010 had been retained.
  • With the exception of the top 5%, who lost 1% of their potential income, it is the better-off half of the country that has gained financially from the changes, with an increase of between 1.2% and 2% in their disposable income … //

… Treasury spokesman said: “The government has published groundbreaking cumulative distributional analysis with every budget and autumn statement of this parliament. This has clearly shown that the richest households are making the biggest contribution to reducing the deficit.”

Shadow chancellor Ed Balls claimed that Labour planned to balance the books in a fairer way. He said: “This is a damning analysis of David Cameron and George Osborne’s record. It demolishes any last pretence that we are somehow all in this together.”

(full text).


Always watching: Undercover feds surge in numbers, infiltrate protests – report, on Russia Today RT, Nov 16, 2014;
(See also: FBI says agent impersonated AP journalist in 2007 sting op, on Russia Today RT, Nov 7, 2014);

Ukraine scraps human rights treaty for rebel areas, cuts services, freezes banks, on Russia Today RT, Nov 16, 2014;

Putin: Economic blockade of E. Ukraine a big mistake, on Russia Today RT, Nov 16, 2014;

NATO intensifies threats against Russia over Ukraine, on WSWS, by Christoph Dreier, Nov 15, 2014;

Brazil’s Party of Socialism and Freedom, PSOL: Another Way of Doing Politics, on New Politics, by Dan La Botz, Nov 11, 2014;

The naked class politics of Ebola, on Climate and Capitalism, by James Robb, Nov 9, 2014;

Human population reduction is not a quick fix for environmental problems, on, Corey J. A. Bradshaw1 and Barry W. Brook, (edited by Paul R. Ehrlich, Stanford University, Stanford, CA, and approved September 15, 2014) - Significance: The planet’s large, growing, and overconsuming human population, especially the increasing affluent component, is rapidly eroding many of the Earth’s natural ecosystems. However, society’s only real policy lever to reduce the human population humanely is to encourage lower per capita fertility. How long might fertility reduction take to make a meaningful impact? We examined various scenarios for global human population change to the year 2100 by adjusting fertility and mortality rates (both chronic and short-term interventions) to determine the plausible range of outcomes. Even one-child policies imposed worldwide and catastrophic mortality events would still likely result in 5–10 billion people by 2100. Because of this demographic momentum, there are no easy ways to change the broad trends of human population size this century. (my comment: however, there is a very easy way: give all women a financial independency from males world and most women will have max two children, but rather one or none – Heidi).

im Spiegel Online:

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