Benefit changes are fair – Osborne
Chancellor George Osborne has been defending his Autumn Statement in a round of interviews this morning, insisting that the benefit squeezes are fair and reiterating that “we’re all in this together”.
All working-age benefits are to go up by 1% a year, likely to be less than the rate of inflation, for the next three years.
Labour has argued that 60% people affected by this are already in work, meaning that the poorest employed would be hit hardest.
Osborne told BBC News: “I think people getting ready to go out to work, they are frustrated that they pay their taxes, that they work long hours and a lot of that money, frankly too much of that money, goes into a welfare system that supports out-of-worklessness.”
But shadow chancellor Ed Balls said the majority of people affected by the move were not unemployed – and a working family with children on £20,000 a year would lose £279 a year from April.
“He somehow wants to attack people he thinks are workshy and feckless but if you look at the facts 60% of the people who are affected by that 1% freeze are in work”.
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Image c. M Holland