Bagehot: A season of dolour and dole

Posted: December 14, 2012 in economy
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UK Only Article: 
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Over the cliff?

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Squeezing the welfare budget is popular. But the Tories may still suffer for it

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GEORGE OSBORNE has long since made the part of Scrooge his own. Yet as a third Christmas of austerity approaches, the chancellor of the exchequer has pulled off a rare triumph. The bigger-than-expected cut in welfare spending proposed in his Autumn Statement on December 5th was not merely a case of giving his indebted country the tough medicine it needs. Against a backdrop of rising resentment of welfare “scroungers”, it also gave gloomy British taxpayers something they actually want.
According to polling by YouGov, 52% of Britons thought the proposed cut—which will save £4.4 billion ($7.1 billion) a year by 2017-18—was either reasonable or too modest. This represents a striking change in British attitudes to welfare. Though Britons of all political persuasion remain, by and large, deeply …

via Economic Crisis


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