Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Warning to Government: A Bigger Cuts Storm Is Brewing

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Warning to Government: A Bigger Cuts Storm Is Brewing

Article excerpt

Byline: Chris Blackhurst City Editor

ON this page in recent months, I've bemoaned the City folk who fail to give anything back. I make no apology for that -- on their heads be it as they wonder why the fat cats of the Square Mile continue to be held in such low esteem by the rest of society.

One who has set out to use at least part of his fortune, estimated at [pounds sterling]110 million, to good effect is Clive Cowdery. That's right -- the Clive Cowdery who made his reputation on deal after deal in the insurance sector, via the Resolution Trust buyout vehicle he founded. What isn't so well-known about "Big Clive" -- as he became known in reference to his girth, since much reduced -- is that he established the Resolution Foundation, an independent policy and research organisation to try to highlight, and improve, the lot of the nation's low-income earners.

The think-tank's aims are dear to Cowdery's heart. The middle of five children, he never knew his father and was brought up by a single mother in Bristol. Indeed, he describes himself as "a privileged beneficiary of the welfare state".

His foundation, he jokes, is his "light" side (as opposed to the "dark" side of his other business affairs). I would not want to cross Cowdery. Which is why I would offer this warning to the Government: be careful.

Since the Spending Review, the economists who work for Resolution Foundation have been crunching the numbers on how the cuts affect the less well-off. What they've discovered is that the changes to the tax credits system will deprive working families (that vast body of people so beloved of leading politicians in their party broadcasts, literature and conference speeches) of [pounds sterling]6.2 billion over the next four years.

To put that into sharp focus, says Gavin Kelly, chief executive of Resolution Foundation, that compares with [pounds sterling]5.5 billion saved by the Government from scrapping child benefit for higherrate taxpayers and [pounds sterling]5. …

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