Osborne Fast-Tracks Pension And Care Reforms
Chancellor George Osborne is bringing forward the introduction of a new, simple state pensions system and a cap on the cost of social care.
Ahead of his Budget on Wednesday, Mr Osborne announced that the single-tier pension would be introduced in 2016 - a year earlier than previously planned.
The cap on social care costs, originally set for £75,000 and due for introduction in 2017, will now start in 2016 as well but at £72,000.
Mr Osborne said the changes would be a "huge boost" for people trying to save for their retirement.
The announcement came as he warned there are no "miracle cures" for the UK economy and raised the spectre of Britain following Cyprus if he changes tack.
The Chancellor is under mounting pressure to ditch his economic "Plan A" and to find some way of kickstarting growth.
A new opinion poll suggests most voters - including more than a quarter of Conservative supporters - think his policies are failing.
But Mr Osborne said the UK could end up facing an economic disaster like Cyprus if he does not stick to his austerity plans.
He dismissed calls for extra borrowing to cut taxes or finance a "spending spree" and warned changing now would be a "disaster".
The Chancellor said the crisis in Cyprus was an example of "what happens if you don't show the world you can pay your way".
He told the BBC's Andrew Marr Show: "That is why in Britain we have got to retain the confidence of world markets."
Mr Osborne acknowledged his austerity measures were "difficult" and the effort to rebalance and repair the economy was "painstaking work".
But he said that "unless we in Britain front up to our own problems ... then the difficult economic situation in Britain will get very much worse".
"There is no easy answer to Britain's problems, there is no miracle cure because if there was a miracle cure it would have been deployed," he said.
"It's just a lot of hard work of dealing with Britain's debts, helping businesses create jobs, helping families who want to work hard and get on."
Writing in The Sun on Sunday, Mr Osborne hinted he would also do more to help homebuyers, business start-ups and apprentices in his Budget on Wednesday.
Helping create jobs would mean "cutting tax rates and red tape, backing scientific advance, building new roads and broadband" and making the UK an attractive investment option, he said.
However he warned of "more tough choices" to be made on further slashing public spending from 2015 - with the scale of the squeeze to be unveiled in his statement.
"It won't be easy," he warned, amid rows between ministers over where the axe should fall.
His comments came as a report revealed families have cut back on spending by more than £3,000 a year since the start of the credit crunch.
Consumer watchdog Which? found the cut in discretionary spending's opening up a £136bn black hole in the economy over the last five years.
Former cabinet minister Liam Fox is leading Tory calls for a change of course on the economy, suggesting Corporation Tax be reduced to zero and far bigger cuts to public spending.
Other prominent backbench demands include cancelling a fuel duty rise due in the autumn and scrapping the beer duty escalator that automatically ups the price of a pint.
Mr Osborne is tipped to announce extra investment in housebuilding and road projects - called for by leading business groups - and help for people to buy homes.
But he will not abandon "Plan A" by increasing borrowing to fund it - a move being mooted within the coalition by Liberal Democrat Business Secretary Vince Cable.
Shadow chancellor Ed Balls said he would welcome extra borrowing to fund a cut in the basic rate of income tax to put more money into people's pockets.
But Mr Osborne hit back: "I think the British people know there are no easy answers in today's world. They aren't fooled by the miracle cures peddled by the same snake oil politicians who got us into this mess.
"Labour's answer to Britain's borrowing problems is to borrow even more - that simply doesn't make sense. If there were easy options and miracle cures then of course I would take them, but sadly there aren't."
what do you think?
WELFARE CUT AGAIN.in other words he doesnt care about our nations well being.tax the richer half of this nation not give them tax relief on such things as mansions and second homes.
Windows Live User
More tough choices!!! Is this because his ideas have all failed so far? Does he know what he is doing I ask of those highly trained in economics? Or does he just think, "This idea sounds ok, I will give it a bash"? If he now thinks he could do more to help home buyers, business start-ups etc then why has he waited until now? Or has he just found this one in the bottom of his bag? When he says " more tough choices" does he warn of another raiding on the poor , elderly and disabled? OR Does he intend to take a few percent out of everyone's bank to help fund his past rowlocks? (Joke don't panic) I cant listen to him perform. He comes across like a man selling potions in a traveling show. One of his uncles strategically positioned at the side ready to try his snake oil mix and declare it a success.
( Joke don`t panic ) ? You may not have read that " negative interest rates " have been considered.
Pjbeckett, negative interest rates, now there's a thought. As we have an interest-only mortgage, although very small, would that mean that the bank would be paying us to live in our own house ? I rather think they would be quite selective about how this is applied !
how about getting rid of diplomats that will save agreat deal of money such james robbins who has two jobs both paid by the taxpayer ??????
Lee Wright Addy
How can anyone take labour seriously ( unless your a brainwashed miner stuck in the 80's ). I think we need to shaun spencer, simon calvert & stephen to form a cabinet. no one works, everyone is really rich and.. they hire penn & teller to magic money to us all. cool
Coal miners were useful, idiot politicians in charge of a nation sitting on billions of tons of coal preferred to sack thousands of hard working men and import the coal instead. We still burn the same amount of coal as we used to, but now that we have no mines of our own, the cheap foreign coal isn't cheap anymore. Brainwashed tories have done more damage to our country than Adolf ever did.
Lee Wright Addy
when was anyone sacked en mass? if there was money ther - the ukcoal , rjb etc would mine it
You wallow in your ignorance chum. I suggest you study the history of your country.
Cut imports, cut immigration, no more cash sent for overseas aid and get out of the EU.
I agree Sounds like a plan
Tough choices for us he actually means. He's alright jack. Stop giving our money away, close the borders and cut taxes so we have some money to spend in the shops and pubs. The people, the hardworking people of this country George will get the economy going, not you.
I can think of a couple of 'miracle cures' personally.....
Bel*end.......that is all
If he wants to get tough send all immigrants claiming benefits back home and stop free nhs treatment to foreigners let them have a green card
You hit the nail on the head.Leave the EU now,would make a big saving as well.
'More Tough Choices' Not for you fella, can't see how these people cannot see the carnage they are causing. The last time they sat bolt upright was when we had the riots, and that was a squeaky b u m time for them. You are taking the p i s s out of the taxpayer to the extreme, oil traders are betting on the oil prices that's why fuel is not coming down. Fuel was high in the 70's but it did come back down, if they had the desire to do good for us they should have taxed all the western union transfers that have been used to send all of the money out of the uk. Welfare should be for the people who have hit hard times, we are not looking after the old. Making people with dementia pay for the care when it's a medical condition, why do we pay taxes if then you need to pay twice.
Windows Live User
Just a quick question. & no better place to put it to take your mind away from this goon. Does anyone know why it is when reading the Orange (sky) news & I press the one-page-back button, my PC decides to sit and think about it for ages? Is it a problem with IE9 or OrangeEE
I'm getting these problems too, and more. I strongly suspect Orange cheap & cheerful broadband. I've had a guy in to take my laptop away and try it on his set-up, and he says there's nothing wrong with it.
No hard choices for you hypocrite George with your fat salary
Maybe the fat cats should start living on a wage like the normal working person and the rest of the pay gets put back into putting this country something like it.
Yeh like MINIMUM WAGE no HOUSING BENEFIT no SUBSIDISED MEALS and BOOZE.Six months of this would do em GOOD.
Tough choices for the frightful oiks he means, while the gravy train rolls on for the gobsmiths and their rich friends.
stop letting people into this country that alone is costing us billions a year. and who suffers the people who were born and bread here.but that to easy
Lee Wright Addy
theres still ways they can save money with tax increases and benefits cuts. the gvt departments still waste so much. i went to portugal last year and the police there are rolling round in 10 year old cars... theres nothing wrong with these cars. ours have to be in 62 plate landrovers and other high end marques. theres no money to fix the roads yet the highways agency where i live always have new vehicles
More tough choices? You bet and all aimed at those at the bottom of the pile. One day the bottom of the pile is going to give way and those at the top are going to come tumbling down...and serve 'em right too.
And the sooner the better
DON'T FORGET WE ARE IN THIS TOGETHER.WHAT A JOKE THIS OUTFIT REALY ARE.
Saint Pats day loads of Guinness to be drunk to be slur Probably wont be able to afford it next year
If you are a Pensioner in any other country in the entire world where ever you live it increases by a minimum of 10% and in Europe we have the smallest. He will now increase it to 140.00 but only for those who are over 65 after 3rd April 2016 but others will have peanuts. The Public sector average is 15,000 a year but they pay nothing for it. Doctors will get about 350,000