That went well … err, well

Very much taken by two postings this very morning.

First up—

ConHome was bigging up the totally-bogus Cameron photo-op and gig at the Palace. The very first comment on the charade was a devastating put-down:

Keancomment

Than you, philkean: the wheel-clamps were the clincher.

Then the IFS spannered the Tory wheel —

IFS

Well, no, actually.

First the authors sneer at the simplistic of such a non-calculation:

The first point to note is that, on the basis of these figures, you get to an average £3,000 tax increase by (1) cumulating increases over four years – this is the average additional bill in total over four years, it is not an annual additional cost – and (2) dividing the total tax increase only by the number of working households not by the total number of households.

In a world in which taxes were to rise by £15 billion one would usually describe this as leaving households worse off by £560 a year – £15 billion divided by 26.7 million households.

Cumulating numbers like this over several years is, at best, unhelpful. Ignoring the existence of non-working households doesn’t help provide sensible averages either.

Then they get sniffy by noting that, even taking the worst possible Tory line:

if half [the budget deficit] is to come from tax rises – would imply a net tax rise of around £9 billion in 2017–18 (and not the £15 billion the Conservatives suggest).

Anyway, the IFS conclude, neither party has come clean on what and where cuts come.

And, yesterday, Iain Duncan Smith really helped us on that one. Not.

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