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Don’t mention equality or poverty?

The Chancellor described the 2012 Budget as one that “rewards work”, “unashamedly backs business” and keeps to the deficit plan.

In terms of judging the Budget’s fairness, the key test is being portrayed as the changes to the tax system and which segment of taxpayers has been squeezed or not squeezed.

The Chancellor described the 2012 Budget as one that “rewards work”, “unashamedly backs business” and keeps to the deficit plan.

In terms of judging the Budget’s fairness, the key test is being portrayed as the changes to the tax system and which segment of taxpayers has been squeezed or not squeezed.

However, the big issue that this test avoids – and no party wants to loudly champion this – is the impact of welfare cuts on those that can’t access work. The Government’s household impact assessments look at the nation in ten percent blocks while the opposition are flagging up the benefits the top 1% may accrue.

Discussions are therefore avoiding the impact of changes on the poorest who are unable to access meaningful employment opportunities and who will not benefit from a raised basic rate tax threshold.

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