Osborne to announce £10bn benefit cuts
The Government is to cut an additional £10bn from the benefits bill, Chancellor George Osborne is to tell the Conservative party conference in his keynote speech today.
£18bn of welfare cuts are already underway, and the new cuts would limit housing benefits for the under-25s, possible further cuts to child tax credits and allowing benefit increases to be lower than the rate of inflation.
Other measures could include halting the rise in child support benefits when unemployed parents have more children.
The cuts would come into effect by 2016 and Conservatives have suggested the Liberal Democrats are willing to consider the proposals. But Lib Dem Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Danny Alexander, told his own party conference last month: “We simply will not allow the books to be balanced in a way that hits the poorest hardest.”
Osborne is to announce the cuts as necessary to meet the target of eliminating the structural deficit and cutting national debt as a proportion of GDP.
He is expected to say: “Let the message from this conference be clear: we will finish the job we have started. That healing is taking longer than we hoped, because the damage was greater than we feared.”
But Conservatives have ruled out a mansion tax, the Liberal Democrats’ favoured way of ensuring the rich contribute more.
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