Clegg slams “partial” IFS – yet in April he was “really delighted” with it

Nick Clegg weighed in to the debate on the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) report into the Budget this afternoon, taking to the airwaves to criticise the report for being "by definition partial" - yet in April, in the final TV leaders' debate, he cited the IFS for their praising of his party's general election manifesto.

Nick Clegg weighed in to the debate on the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) report into the Budget this afternoon, taking to the airwaves to criticise the report for being “by definition partial” – yet in April, in the final TV leaders’ debate, he cited the IFS for their praising of his party’s general election manifesto.

The Liberal Democrat leader had said:

I was really delighted at the Institute of Fiscal Studies when they compared the three parties’ manifestos this week said very, very clearly, and very directly, that our proposal to lift the income tax threshold to £10,000 is the best incentive to work.”

The deputy prime minister is now, however, challenging the IFS’ finding that the Budget, very, very clearly, and very directly, is “clearly regressive. Mr Clegg told Channel 4 News:

“Much of the IFS analysis was about benefits, but we want to get people off benefits and into work.

“That is a plan for real fairness, that is progressive and I think that is a richer understanding of what fairness is about than a single snapshot, that doesn’t – that simpy doesn’t – provide the full picture of what we’re trying to do over the coming months and years.”

Mr Clegg is in good company today criticising the IFS’ work. Mark Wallace, formerly of the TaxPayers’ Alliance and now a political consultant has today claimed that the IFS “swing to the left”. While Phillip Blond in a Sky interview claimed that the research was unreliable since it excluded the impact of “capital gains tax increases on the rich”.

James Browne, senior research economist at the IFS, told Left Foot Forward:

“The capital gains tax measures that were excluded only came to about £800m compared to £4.1 billion in welfare measures excluded by the Treasury in their assessment.”

But while Clegg continues to defend the fairness of his Budget despite the evidence, a number of Conservatives are seeking to move the goal posts.

Last week, George Osborne claimed that the Budget was fair when examined on an “intergenerational” basis – a claim refuted at the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Roundtable; Treasury minister Mark Hoban today invoked the Thatcherite idea of trickle down economics as a basis for the fairness of the Budget; and as Sunder Katwala outlines Spectator editor Fraser Nelson has called for the requirement to measure the impact of the Budget and other Government decisions on minority groups to be scrapped.

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24 Responses to “Clegg slams “partial” IFS – yet in April he was “really delighted” with it”

  1. Richard Johnson

    RT @leftfootfwd: Clegg slams "partial" IFS – yet in April he was “really delighted” with it: http://bit.ly/ctWLhh

  2. NewLeftProject

    RT @leftfootfwd: Clegg slams "partial" IFS – yet in April he was “really delighted” with it: http://bit.ly/ctWLhh

  3. Shamik Das

    Clegg slams "partial" IFS – yet in April he was “really delighted” with it: http://bit.ly/ctWLhh @leftfootfwd

  4. Stuart Pearce

    RT @shamikdas: Clegg slams "partial" IFS – yet in April he was “really delighted” with it: http://bit.ly/ctWLhh @leftfootfwd

  5. anyleftiwonder

    Ooh ! And his better half doesn’t like people that look both ways !!

  6. Justin B

    RT @leftfootfwd: Clegg slams "partial" IFS – yet in April he was “really delighted” with it: http://bit.ly/ctWLhh

  7. Tom Freeman

    They don’t like it up ’em…

  8. Robster

    RT @leftfootfwd: Clegg slams “partial” IFS – yet in April he was “really delighted” with it http://bit.ly/ctWLhh Clegg is a F*****g liar.

  9. Max

    RT @creativegeek: RT @leftfootfwd: Clegg slams “partial” IFS – yet in April he was “really delighted” with it http://bit.ly/ctWLhh Clegg …

  10. Wendy Seabrook

    RT @politicsofuk: Clegg slams ?partial? IFS ? yet in April he was ?really delighted? with it . #ukpolitics http://bit.ly/bvU4ij

  11. Glenn

    The ConDems defence is their budget and policies will lead to private sector growth and jobs, but I just can see what policies they have for this – apart from an attempt at macro stability and lower corporation tax. They have no industrial policy, are eliminating RDAs and things like Business Link without any real policies on what will replace them.

    In other words, they have not articulated their policies for economic growth at all and their faith is in there being precisely no policies for growth. Its an assumption that laissez faire will do this for them as far as I can see.

    But a risk for all of us in the long run. I just do not believe they can achieve the jobs targets the OBR set out – in a pretty poor international economic situation, with major public sector contraction. I hope I am wrong, but its going to be a lost 10 years to come.

  12. Mr. Sensible

    Clegg still hasn’t told Lib Dem voters why he voted for this shambles.

    Nore has he told us when he changed his mind on deficit reduction.

  13. Mr. Sensible

    BTW, perhaps Mr Nelson might like to tell us why the assessment of the impact on minorities should be scrapped?

  14. Evidence based.

    HAVEN’T LABOUR JUST DONE EXACTLY THE SAME THING!!!!!!!!! IN APRIL THEY SLAMMED THE IFS, NOW THEY ARE SLAVOURING ALL OVER IT!!

    Shamik, this is shoddy journalism- let alone evidence based.

  15. Nick Clegg responds to the IFS: another new definition of fairness | ToUChstone blog: A public policy blog from the TUC

    […] leaving out the Capital Gains Tax the IFS’s distributional analysis is flawed – but the IFS have demonstrated that the value of these changes is minimal compared to the benefit changes it documents. Including […]

  16. Shamik Das

    ‘Shoddy journalism’? I don’t think so; not unless you want to tar the entire lobby with the same brush.

    And on your point about Labour doing the same thing, here’s what Gordon said during that same TV debate:

    “The Liberal party want to cut child tax credits as well. We’re talking about tax credits paid to children, we have fought hard for a long time to make sure that we can give children and families decent incomes. The Liberals will cut child tax credits and so will the Conservatives.

    “The Conservatives want to save £400 million, the Liberals £1.2 billion. The Institute of Fiscal Studies said that David’s proposals, and what he said was “were misleading, incomplete and regressive”. And I come back to this question, why cut children’s tax credits for middle-class families, when you want to give a big inheritance tax cut to the richest estates in the country
    who do not need that money at the moment?”

    GB was citing the IFS, not slamming it.

  17. Evidence based.

    Shamik, but they don’t claim to be the only evidenced based blog on the internet?
    I am happy to tar the entire lobby with the same brush if they commision an article critising the Lib Dems for doing something that other parties (in particular the one they support) are as equally guilty of it.

    Here’s what the Labour spokesman briefed the press following the April IFS report. Describing it he stated the report was “wrong… misleading and failing to help public understanding”. What GB said in the leadership debate about the other’s policies is not the point! Of course he’d cite that!

  18. Michael Burke

    Osborne and Clegg repeatedly claimed that the Budget was fair, in fact provided charts in the Budget where that pported to be true (using measures from Labour’s Budgets and ignoring some of the effects of their own).

    Now the IFS has proven that not to be true.

    So Clegg has responded by saying you can’t judge fainess just by looking at the numbers.

    http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/88da38b0-b090-11df-8c04-00144feabdc0.html

  19. The Banality of Institutions « Bad Conscience

    […] nonsense attack on Britain’s leading impartial economic think tank (which he’d formerly heaped praise on). Clegg must ludicrously claim that regressive impacts on the poor will be offset by job […]

  20. Bruce Lee

    Before I pass judgment I must declare a lack of interest: I have no party allegiance, I am politically independent.

    Right, now I have got the formalities out of the way, here we go…

    By defending this indefensible and illegal budget, illegal in that George Osborne broke the law by failing to carry out a mandatory assessment of the impact it would have, Nick Clegg has quite literally loaded a pair of cartridges into a double barrel shotgun, placed it under his chin, pulled the trigger and blown his own brains out. He loaded two cartridges because he is such an idiot he might have missed first time.

    Clegg has done a Moaty. And his brains are splashed all over the Liberal party’s collective face and are dripping down its chin.

    The glue of the Coalition has been the claim that it is progressive; that was the weasel word the Tories used to trick the Liberal Democrats into becoming the Tory party’s sheep’s clothing. The claim of progressiveness is all that is holding this Janus faced Coalition together. And now, because of this illegal budget that punishes low paid workers for working, that glue has come unstuck.

    Taxing low paid workers is not progressive. It does not help people become self reliant, indeed it makes them even more reliant upon the state and it leads them directly into the arms of unemployment because it makes their honest efforts pointless. Would the Tories and their millionaire friends work harder for less?

    No. So why do they expect honest and hardworking people to?

    George Osborne’s claim that his budget was progressive has been exposed as a lie, and he, therefore, has been exposed as liar. His defence is pitiful. He, and Clegg, claim that the report was selective but how would they know it is selective as they have not carried out the mandatory assessment to discover whether it is or not. No assessment, no evidence: no evidence, no defence. They have dug a hole for themselves by failing to follow the law and their protestations achieve nothing more than deepen the graves they have dug for themselves. All that is left for them to do is to jump in.

    Does George Osborne, the millionaire, think that he is above British Law?

    He will soon find out otherwise.

    George Osborne is a liar and a lawbreaker. He is clearly unfit to be the Chancellor of the Exchequer.

  21. Chris

    @Michael Burke

    Interest that Clegg says that because he has attacked Labour over and over again purely on the income inequality ratio. Trashing Labour’s entire record based only on that, forgetting the children raised out of poverty, the massive improvement in schooling in poor areas, etc.

  22. Why Nick Clegg’s attempts to redefine ‘fairness’ don’t stack up | Liberal Conspiracy

    […] leaving out the Capital Gains Tax the IFS’s distributional analysis is flawed – but the IFS have demonstrated that the value of these changes is minimal compared to the benefit changes it documents. Including […]

  23. The Lib Dems in government part 3 – How have they done so far? « Paperback Rioter

    […] dark a sense of humour as I have. To see Nick Clegg denounce the IFS as “partial” after previously praising it – a hypocrisy also shared by the Tories – I find grimly comic. The Treasury’s […]

  24. Clegg "digging himself into a hole" over university funding | Left Foot Forward

    […] tank for contradicting him; in August he described its analysis of the emergency budget as “partial” – just months after saying he was “really delighted” with the IFS’s […]

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