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Keywords:

  • Budget 2010;
  • Comprehensive Spending Review;
  • Housing Benefit;
  • Liberal–Conservative coalition;
  • middle-class benefits;
  • tax credits

In the Comprehensive Spending Review and in the Budget 2010, the Liberal–Conservative coalition has announced cost-cutting measures in the benefit system. Some of these measures can be interpreted as ‘random cuts’, where the given scope and structure of a spending programme is retained, while bits and pieces are chopped off here and there. Others can be interpreted as more strategic measures, or reconsiderations of the proper role of government in the respective area. However, where the coalition has pursued a more strategic approach, it has not followed it through consistently. The coalition's consolidation strategy relies too much on temporary caps and freezes, which will eventually expire and give way to renewed spending pressures.