6th April 2011
But is the description fair? Certainly many of the changes were not announced in the recent Budget, but by the Chancellor last year or his Labour predecessor Alistair Darling.
Darling is, for example, responsible for raising National Insurance a percentage points to 12 per cent.
Other changes include the linking of many benefits and pension rises to the Consumer Price Index rather than the Retail Price Index and the fact more people are to be caught by higher rate tax thresholds brought in last year. RPI is generally higher, so linking benefits and pensions to CPI will mean a slower rate of increase.
However the political rows continue with the Coalition pointing to the fact it is taking many people out of income tax though chief secretary Danny Alexander has been careful to stress the Government has sympathy with those affected by the cuts, just that they may well be necessary.