SPENDING cuts in Britain since the financial crash have been more severe than austerity-ravaged Spain, the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) said yesterday.
Its study A Crisis Wasted? showed that the Tories made bigger spending cuts than other European governments despite having stronger public finances.
“France and Italy have both relied relatively heavily on raising taxes, rather than cutting spending, to reduce borrowing,” the report states.
“In contrast, the UK has relied heavily on cuts to public spending, rather than net tax rises. Up to the end of 2014-15, 82 per cent of fiscal measures in the UK were spending cuts, rather than net tax rises.”
Cuts in Britain were also higher than two of the hardest hit countries, Ireland and Spain, where cuts represented 64 per cent and 63 per cent of measures to reduce borrowing respectively.
“This proves the deficit has been used an excuse to slash public spending, rip apart the welfare state and take away every gain the working class has made for more than a generation,” said People’s Assembly national secretary Sam Fairbairn.
Ending “tax avoidance alone could solve the problem but the Tories choose to target services that the majority rely on for a decent standard of living.”
The IFS also set out how the Tories targeted welfare spending to bring down the deficit.
“France, Italy and Spain refrained from cutting welfare benefits (and, in fact, increased them for some groups), in stark contrast to Ireland and the UK where cuts to benefit payments for working age adults played a major role in delivering fiscal consolidation,” the report reads.