Friday, 6 December 2013

Living Standards to Be Lower in 2015 Than in 2010, IFS Warns

George Osborne, Chancellor of the Exchequer
THE GUARDIAN: Delivering its judgment on George Osborne's autumn statement, Institute for Fiscal Studies backs claims by Ed Balls that family budgets are being squeezed hard

Britain's leading experts on tax and spending have said that living standards would be lower at the end of the current parliament than at the start as they backed claims by the shadow chancellor Ed Balls that family budgets were being squeezed hard under the coalition.

Delivering its judgment on George Osborne's autumn statement, the Institute for Fiscal Studies took issue with the way Labour had calculated its estimate of a £1,600 loss to the average family in the three years since the coalition came to power in 2010 but said it was "pretty consistent" with survey data showing a big drop in household incomes between 2009-10 and 2011-12.

Paul Johnson, the IFS's director, said there was a lack of reliable figures for the current year, but added: "We do know from household surveys that income fell sharply in 2010 and 2011. It is almost certainly significantly lower now than it was in 2010.

"And while it should start to grow it will surely still be below its 2010 level by the time we get to the election in 2015." » | Larry Elliot and Philip Inman | Friday, December 06, 2013