I am inclined to agree with the view of The Times that the government should not get bogged down in the argument about the impact of the June budget on the poor. The IFS is probably correct in its analysis suggesting that this was not really a “progressive” budget in the technical sense – although the IFS analysis is also limited in that it does not model second-order consequences as people adapt to tax and benefit changes. This argument could run and run and detracts from the whole point of the budget – to get a grip on our huge fiscal deficit. It’s basically a party-political argument and the government should politely but decisively move the agenda on.

Len Shackleton 154x154
Len Shackleton is an Editorial and Research Fellow at the IEA and Professor of Economics at the University of Buckingham. He was previously Dean of the Royal Docks Business School at the University of East London and prior to that was Dean of the Westminster Business School. He has also taught at Queen Mary, University of London and worked as an economist in the Civil Service. His research interests are primarily in the economics of labour markets. He has worked with many think tanks, most closely with the Institute of Economic Affairs, where he is an Economics Fellow. He edits the journal Economic Affairs, which is co-published by the IEA and the University of Buckingham.