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The Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) cannot be accused of being a radical think-tank, but its probing of the government's economic policies since May 2010 has been shaped by a social and environmental awareness (it has cooperated with businesses and researchers on a 'green budget') and by a determination to move below the surface of political posturing to examine what the data is and how it is being used. The picture it offers is rather different to the coalition's spin.
Stung by accusations of targeting the poor in the Comprehensive Spending Review, not to mention misleading voters by reneging on central electoral promises in exchange for power, deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has decided to pick a fight with the respected think-tank the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS). There can only be one winner in this fact spat, and it will not be Mr Clegg.