Friday News Review

Government tax and benefits cuts dragging people in to poverty

Hundreds of thousands of people will be dragged into poverty by the Government’s tax and benefit reforms, according to research. The respected Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) forecasts an overall rise in poverty among both children and working-age adults over the next three years. Its findings contradict Chancellor George Osborne’s claims that the spending review will not increase child poverty over the next two years. His claims were “totally unacceptable” and “disastrous”, according to campaign groups, who demanded a re-think of the coalition’s cuts programme. – Evening Standard

New forecasts from the Institute for Fiscal Studies show that the government’s claim that child poverty will not increase over the next two years as a result of changes announced in the Spending Review is broadly accurate. However, poverty among both children and working-age adults is likely to increase significantly from 2013/14. The IFS has projected the number of children and working age people that fall below both the absolute poverty line (measured at 60% of real terms median income for 2010/11) and relative poverty line (measured as 60% of the median income of that year). They give forecasts up to 2012/13 and up to 2013/14. – Left Foot Forward

Between 2010–11 and 2013–14 average incomes are forecast to stagnate and both absolute and relative poverty among children and working-age adults are expected to rise, according to projections published today by the Institute for Fiscal Studies. The IFS researchers forecast absolute and relative income poverty amongst children and working-age adults for each year to 2013–14, using a static tax and benefit micro-simulation model combined with official macroeconomic and demographic forecasts, taking into account current government policy. They also forecast poverty under a scenario where the coalition Government simply implemented the plans for the tax and benefit system it inherited from the previous administration. – Liberal Conspiracy

Cameron failure in Europe

The Prime Minister had sought to persuade the meeting that the EU disaster “mechanism” – a fund that will be worth over £120 billion between 2014 to 2020 – should never again be triggered to bail out the euro after 2013. But summit documents, seen by The Daily Telegraph, fail to give any guarantees and do not explicitly rule out using the clause for future economic or other crises, as Britain had asked in negotiations over the last week. Douglas Carswell, the Conservative MP for Clacton, said: “This latest failure shows the futility of the government’s position. Unless it is willing to challenge the premise of EU membership and the terms on which we signed up, it can never get its way,” he said. “The government is utterly impotent.” – The Telegraph

Game on: campaigning starts in by-election

With the moving of the writ in the Commons on Thursday, the starting pistol has been fired on the first by-election of the new parliament. The poll on 13 January will be the first big electoral test of the coalition, as well as an early verdict on Labour’s new leader. But traditional by-election it will not be. That decision by the special election court to strip the seat from Labour and ban Phil Woolas from standing for three years has given pause for thought to many campaigners. Politicians up and down the land have fought hard and sometimes dirty campaigns to get themselves elected, never dreaming that their election literature might have to stand the scrutiny of a court. – BBC

Labour leader Ed Miliband chose the subject of crime to launch the byelection defence of Oldham East and Saddleworth, a bold decision given that his party forfeited the seat by breaking the law. Ringed by posters saying “Save our police”, he fired up the local faithful at a church hall Question Time by accusing the coalition of threatening 66 frontline jobs in the Greater Manchester police’s Pennine patch. He deflected questions about trust in the party, after the disgrace of the former MP Phil Woolas, by saying: “We must move on and look to the future, not the past.” But he also found himself fighting a rearguard action over another criminal issue: his former cabinet colleague Bob Ainsworth’s call today for the legalisation of drugs. “I am all in favour of fresh thinking on drugs but I don’t agree with him on decriminalisation of drugs – I worry about the effects on young people, the message that we would be sending out,” he said. – The Guardian

Leave a Reply