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Bob Neil: “those in greatest need ultimately bear the burden of paying off the debt”

June 11, 2010

Bob Neil’s in trouble for telling the House of Commons that “those in greatest need ultimately bear the burden of paying off the debt”. There’s been a furious reaction to his comment. But, sadly, he’s right. The poorest will suffer most from inevitable tax rises and cuts in public services. Poor people already pay more tax as a proportion of their income than the wealthiest. Worse, they rely on public services that aren’t protected by the political firewall that surrounds middle-class entitlements like Child Benefit. Here’s the contrast: The Daily Mail put Bob Neil’s comment about the impact of iminent cuts on the poorest on Page 2. Meanwhile Frank Field’s hint that his child poverty review was even considering measures that could mean middle class familes miss out on Child Benefit payments makes the front page of The Times.

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