Andrew Grice: Clegg's 'greatest triumph' comes unstuck

While George Osborne gives with one hand, he will grab back more with the other
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The Independent Online

We may all be in it together, but today's research for The Independent suggests that those on modest incomes will be more squeezed than the rest.

What will the Liberal Democrats' pitch be at the next general election? They will say that coalition works, they can be trusted with power and have made a real difference on policy.

The rise in personal tax allowances will be top of their list as Nick Clegg's party explains achievements that would not have been delivered by a majority Conservative government.

Taking 1.1 million people out of tax by April is no mean feat and there is more to come. The tax threshold will almost certainly rise from £6,475 at the last election to £10,000 by the next one, due by 2015.

However, today's study by the Resolution Foundation think-tank calls into question the Coalition's claims that raising the threshold is the most effective way of helping those on low incomes.

While George Osborne gives with one hand, it seems, he will grab back more with the other by cutting tax credits. No less than six changes to the complex web weaved by Gordon Brown take effect in April. Although they have already been announced, it's a fair bet that many families will be in for a shock – unless they hold an accountancy degree.