Benefits Cap Vote On George Osborne's Plans
Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith has accused Labour of bribing voters with tax credits during a bitter debate about the 1% cap on benefit payments.
Mr Duncan Smith attacked the Opposition for criticising legislation to sever the link between welfare handouts and inflation in a fiery Commons session.
He claimed the previous government had created a system in which nine out of 10 families with children could claim tax credits, including those on £70,000-a-year.
"They think that helping people is about trapping more and more people in benefits," he told MPs ahead of a vote on the controversial move later.
"The result of all of this is that the debt we all had to pay off was costing us £30,000 every single minute," Mr Duncan Smith said.
He accused Labour of failing to face up to the need to slash the deficit, pointing out the party had opposed £83bn of savings set out by the Government.
"That's the equivalent of adding another £5,000 of debt for every working family in the country," he said.
But shadow work and pensions secretary Liam Byrne claimed the coalition's approach was turning into a "hit and run on working families".
He accused Chancellor George Osborne of "battering the life" out of the economic recovery and Mr Duncan Smith of living "in a fantasy land".
"The Tory way is to hit working families. The Labour way is to help people work," he told MPs.
MPs will vote on the cap following the heated debate and Labour as well as some Lib Dem rebels are set to vote against it.
What amounts to a real-terms cut will hit most working age welfare payments and tax credits, including jobseeker's allowance and maternity pay.
The Government insists it is unfair that state handouts have been rising twice as fast as wages during recent years of austerity.
But Labour argues that the move will mostly affect people who are actually in work, citing analysis that shows seven million working households will lose £165-a-year.
Shadow chancellor Ed Balls said: "While millionaires get a tax cut, seven million striving working families are paying the price for David Cameron and George Osborne's economic failure.
"The best way to get the benefits bill down is to get the economy growing and people back to work, not hit striving families."
Mr Duncan Smith, appearing earlier on Sky News, condemned the Opposition's stance as "pathetic", "unrealistic" and "ridiculous".
"We have to still continue to try and tackle the deficit left for us by Labour which is fuelling huge borrowing and will cost taxpayers enormously unless we get it under control," he said.
"It is also about trying to do it in a way that is fair to those who are in work and are paying the taxes for those who are on welfare.
"The reality is they have seen their welfare payments rise far faster over the last six or seven years than anybody in work."
Labour was "a pathetic opportunistic group who spend their time trying to pretend to people there are soft options out there", he added.
However, anti-poverty campaigners have warned that families will increasingly struggle to properly feed children if benefits fail to keep pace with rises in the cost of living.
Former children's minister Sarah Teather has already broken ranks, warning the the measure would make poverty "significantly worse" and accusing Mr Osborne of "playground politics".
She has now been joined by South Manchester Liberal Democrat MP John Leech, who said he found the Tories' language "objectionable".
"I strongly support raising the tax threshold for low paid workers, but this cut will wipe out much of that good work," he said ahead of this evening's Second Reading division.
Meanwhile, the Tories are trying to distance themselves from the "skivers against strivers" rhetoric sparked by Mr Osborne's original announcement.
Conservative MP Sarah Wollaston insisted that the "vast majority" of her party did not use those terms and it was not how they "feel generally".
The Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) has estimated seven million working families will be £165 worse off a year, compared to £215 for the 2.5 million workless households.
Mr Duncan Smith says the £165 figure only reflects the benefits cap and claims working families will actually be £125 better off each year due to the rise in the income tax threshold.
what do you think?
Were all in it together, right?
Except for the well off who seem to be exempt.
That's fine if you cap all bosses pay at less than 1%. Speak louder I can't hear you, did you say something. I thought not Leaders, more like leaderless and clueless.
This country is a joke cap benefits here but we have money for foreign aid and wars
Single? No kids? Then get a job, any job. There's plenty out there - and no, xfactor wannabe isn't a job.
Well said to many people have kids for a free ride
All well and good if there were the jobs to go to.got to create jobs first.
Steven - where are all these jobs you speak about? In some job centres the claimants outnumber job vacancies by 15 to 1. Nick - read the story, these cuts affect working families too.
This comment has been removed for violations of our Terms and Conditions.
Steven and Nick, you really should be ashamed of suggesting that there are plenty of jobs. Please tell us where and what these jobs are. Do you actually know any jobseekers?
"They have punished strivers over the years through higher levels of taxes". Does this mean IDS only considers those who earn over 150k to be strivers?
I think he probably does mean that lol
Again i say.tax second homes and introduce a mansion tax.tackle vat freudsters.and start building new affordable homes for the young which could be means tested.part mortgage part rental.
whats a freudster? someone who thinks a lot about paying tax but decides not to eventually? (fraudster)
I stand corrected nick.though i think its more important for peaple to get their points across than worrying about a spelling test.
I look forward to increases in Banker's bonuses being at 1% in the near future. Hmmm, that pig airlport ain't half noisy today.
Train the unemployed to build such homes.tackle immigration.send foriegn workers back.home.
You haven't got a clue
Nick - what do you suggest then?
The majority of foreign workers are doing jobs that British nationals can't do due to lack of qualifications, or because they don't want to do. Plus the number of foreign workers have no direct impact on the number of vacancies produced every week.
Stop foreign aid if you want more than 2 kids you pay for them and not the state and British people before foreigners on the job centre and cut vat on all house hold bills to help struggling price rises
Nick .How would you stop peaple having more than two kids.besides having a social worker in bed with them? Lol and what do you do with a family with a large family and the money earner is suddenly made redundent.also what about those that have children from previous marriges.
No stop people on benefits not working or have never worked having 2 or more as they wont pay for them why should everyone else
Ok nick but you havent said how you would implement this.
Stop paying bankers ,civil sevents, chief execatives for failure.ie xmas bonuses.
Extra tax on two car owners .bus passes to be means tested,
What about people such as my wife and I, Shaun, working different shifts in different locations, with little or no public transport ? And car owners already pay road tax, duty on their fuel, and VAT on repairs and servicing. How much ''extra'' do you think we should pay?
...and leading light of the CAB, those over 60 with a bus pass have paid into the system for decades. Mean -spirit comments like that tend to show that you are still young with a bit of growing up to do, age creeps up on you, nobody gets old on their own.
Shaun some people need two cars, as Stewgyn's replies explain. Also i have a car. My partner takes his car to work and if i did not ave mine i would be housebound and life would be intolerable
Hey Shaun, your Dad was not called Frank by any chance?
Shaun hasent got a clue rather zippy and bungle run the country than him he talks waffle
Im only putting ideas over and looking to see what comes out of the wash and provoking the debate seems at the moment this idea is very contensious jugdging by the thumbs up down thing.and nick there really is no need to be insulting all the time just because you dont hold the same views.
I love other people idieas thats why we come on and debate we love it okay maybe was a bit harsh am sorry
except for bus passes the buses would run empty so who would subsidise the bus companies or would there be no buses running
Nick.you really need to stop insulting peaple who comment on here.you just try and demean peaple who disagree with you.without putting over any intelligent comments over yourself.yesterday every comments page was deleted thanks directly to your comments.your just spoiling others comments and enjoyment of these debates.
increase minimum wage not benefits then people will want to work more hours not just the minimum needed to get the full amount of benefits
Agreed nick.need more incentive
Increase the minimum wage to a living wage. Means test the employers who genuinely can't afford to pay more than the current minimum wage and pay the benefit to them. Stop enabling the billionaire tax dodgers who abuse our benefits system. Won't happen though, all our MP's are puppets to big business.
Also, the current system deters workers from doing more hours as their benefit is cut pound for pound for every additional hour worked.
Totally agree spot on
And part time workers lol.
What is wrong with you only get out what you pay in, people walk into this country and without having paid anything into the system immediately get benefits why, it is bad enough British citizensn having handouts but now we have others as well. Why is the working families in this country punished every time, we are all in it together this is bull.
Pleased to see GO is capping benefits like 'free expenses' for MPs, ' free chauffeurs' for councillors, 'free jollies' for government employees, 'fat bonuses' for civil servants, 'low tax rates' for bankers, 'non-tax rates' for starbucks, amazon, google, 'free second homes' for MPs and 'free travel and accommodation' for the house of lords. The above are ten times worse than dole scroungers. And, lets get out of this EEC rip off organisation and quickly.
great fed up whith scroungers people should plan for how many children they have and make sure they can afford them maybe overseas will realise we will not take it anymore also we should only pay family allowance to people who work ???
Joan - What about workers who are made redundant? How should they be treated? What about those who earn minimum wage who claim housing benefit to help pay rent in the private sector due to a lack of social housing?
I was earning £19,000 in 1999, I did plan for my children, then my company decided to make a majority of the staff redundant 1 month before my son was born, am I a scrounger Joan? I come from Blackbird Leys in Oxford one of the largest council estates in Europe. I worked hard to get the job and qualifications i have. Where are you from did you grow up on an estate? Did you wear hand-me-down clothes as a child or are you middle class like the rest of the whingers in this country?
Yeah let's beat up the poor! Typical Tories. Shame the Fib Dems are hiding whilst Duncan-Smith spouts his utter nonsense.
For the greater part I agree, Ben, but families with a household income of £50,000 plus, are not my idea of poor !
stewgwyn - this story is not about child benefit
It is in part, lol, some tax credits will be affected.
Iain Duncan Smith condemned Labour as "pathetic", "unrealistic" and "ridiculous"........That certainly sums up milliband and balls.
At lot of farmers and horse stable owners put job adds for uk workers at about 6.50 ahour thay get no takers.THATS WHY WE USE EAST EUROPEN WORKERS AS THAY. ARE WILLING TO WORK one person offerd 80
Offard £80 aday and got no takers
tories doing labours dirty work for them they are the same now and i dont trust labour the most. look at what they done to my country
why not reduce benefits for the real work shy scroungers by 20% that way the tax payers can pay less tax..just means theyll have to cut down on smoking and drinking and just have the basic sky package without movies and sports.cynical but its true.
Mr bowden theres really no need to keep insulting peaple who comment on here.every comments page was deleted yesterday thanks to your remarks.you are spoiling it for others here.