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IFS: More tax rises on the way

IFS: More tax rises on the way

The Institute For Fiscal Studies has warned that Britain's current era of austerity is far from over, as the Chancellor will have to introduce more welfare cuts and tax rises in coming years.

The independent body presented its analysis of George Osborne's Autumn statement at a briefing this lunchtime.

Director Paul Johnson claimed it was "almost inconceivable" that Mr Osborne could meet his projections without tax rises or a further welfare raid, and said the Government could not "just carry on protecting 40% of public spending" on the NHS, schools and aid.

"There are big choices on health and welfare, crucially surely including benefits for pensioners, still to be made," he said.

Mr Johnson claimed middle-income families had been largely protected by the Government, and the distribution of the cuts had been “consistent” with previous spending plans.

“Those at the top have lost a bit, or actually lost a fair chunk, as they have overall in terms of this consolidation. And those of working age dependent on benefits are also losing a chunk as a result largely of the changes of indexation. But actually the basic-rate taxpayers and pensioners who are not dependent on welfare actually gained a bit.”

But Labour argues the cuts to welfare will hit those in work. Ed Balls today accused his government counterpart of being “dishonest” by characterising the changes to tax credits and welfare as only affecting the unemployed.

“The rhetoric in the House of Commons is so dishonest. George Osborne gave the impression that the only people who are losing are people who are not in work. He talks about them as the people whose curtains are drawn while working person goes to work. 60% of people hit are in work with working tax credit or child tax credit. They’ve cut maternity pay. They didn’t say that.”

Green Box: IFS: More tax rises on the wayClick to open

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