Peter Hoskin

Middle-class squeeze

Middle-class squeeze
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As Howard Reed put it earlier, public finances are so tight that the there won’t be many winners from today’s Budget.  And all early signs indicate that the winners will either be the very richest or the very poorest members of society.  For the rich: concessions on non-dom taxation and vague hints of a corporate tax review.  For the poor: more money to tackle child poverty.  The middle classes miss out.

Yet as figures in this morning’s Telegraph reveal, the middle classes have always missed out under this Government.  Even in the years of plenty.  Since 2002, the annual tax bill faced by middle class families has risen by some £1,250.  That’s the biggest increase in any leading Western economy.

So why aren’t the middle classes rioting in the streets?  Not only are they too polite, but the booming housing market has made it easy to ignore the fiscal squeeze.  As soon as that bubble bursts, Gordon Brown and Alistair Darling may have a lot of angry voters on their hands.