Clegg takes on the IFS

Nick Clegg has declared a war of words with the Institute of Fiscal Studies (IFS), which declared the spending review was regressive.

The thinktank, widely used by politicians as an arbiter of independent economic analysis, argued in its report on the spending review that other than the top two per cent of earners, the poorest decile would be hardest hit by George Osborne's plans.

The deputy prime minister reacted directly, accusing the IFS report of promoting a "distorted" view, focusing only on the tax and benefits side of the equation. Welfare cuts in the spending review totalled £18 billion over the course of this parliament.

Labour have piled into the debate as well, accusing Mr Clegg of being little more than a Tory cipher.

Since the spending review announcement on Wednesday, analysts have been frantically poring over the government figures, as opposition to the cuts begins to coalesce around unions and public sector organisations.

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