Labour To Oppose 1% Cap On Benefits Payments
Labour has vowed to oppose the 1% cap on benefits payments proposed by Chancellor George Osborne in his Autumn Statement.
Ed Balls confirmed the decision at Treasury Questions in the House of Commons, claiming the measure is unfair.
The Chancellor sprung a political trap by including the cap in his mini-Budget, attempting to dare Labour to choose between the "strivers" and the "skivers".
Under the move, benefits and tax thresholds will only rise by 1% for the next three years - a below-inflation increase set to save £3.7bn.
There has been anger that maternity pay and child benefit will be among the payments hit by the squeeze, although the basic state pension, carer and disability payments are exempt.
The cap will have to be introduced via new legislation. A Welfare Uprating Bill will be tabled shortly, which Labour will vote against.
Mr Balls said: "We will look at the legislation but, if they intend to go ahead with such an unfair hit on middle and lower income working families while giving a £3bn top rate tax cut, we will oppose it."
Mr Osborne wants to break the link between welfare payments and inflation, which earlier this year saw benefits uprated by 5.2%.
He has previously said workers resent leaving their homes early in the morning while benefits-claiming neighbours sleep on with their curtains drawn.
But Mr Balls, speaking in the Commons, claimed the Chancellor was making "striving, working families pay the price for his economic failure".
Mr Balls added: "Sixty per cent of families hit by the tax changes are in work.
"According to the Institute for Fiscal Studies, as a result of the Autumn Statement measures, a working family - the average one-earner couple - will be £534 a year worse off by 2015.
"These are the very people who pull up the blinds and go to work."
But Mr Osborne said: "Of course tax credits go to some people in work, but we are also helping those people with a personal allowance increase, and working households are £125 better off."
what do you think?
I always smile when I see how bullish politicians are when not in power - just a pity they get paid
Too true Blue side. It is amazing how they have all the answers to the problems they hadn't a clue how to sort out whilst in power. All this pointless sniping just leaves me cold. Sod the lot of them
Liebour are the party of skivers & public sector non-jobs. Well played Mr Osbourne, Liebour are no longer for the worker. They tax workers to death & give it to skivers.
It's typical of the tories to make cuts on the poorest incomes while giving their greedy rich friends tax breaks. Thing is though, it's all very well for Labour to 'oppose' these cuts, what are they ACTUALLY going to do? Wringing their hands and making jokes in Parliament is not enough. It will be up to ordinary working class people and many impoverished middle class people to organise a fight back. Build for a general strike is the answer.
hows that going?
Making progress, two major unions will be balloting at the same time in the new year. It can be hard going when the trade union barons try to prevent a workers fight back, but we're slowly making progress. I remember it was slow at the beginning of the fight against the poll tax, that grew too, until we killed off the poll tax and the Tories had to ditch the unelectable Thatcher. It was great. We haven't forgotten those lessons.
You'll probably see the unions getting smaller & less powerful over the next 5 years. They dont fit
While there is greedy Tories there will be Unions may be a back to basics Labour Party , one that fights for the working majority not the rich fraudsters .
i think you'll find the Tories do more for strivers ie. giving them tax cuts, Liebour need benefit sheeple to vote like drones
Chris And how many fewer work in the British mining industry, Steel Industry, manufacturing industry is now ? Great success with of 50% made redundant and whole communities jobless Keep up the good work
Windows Live User
Hurra a bit of sense
Are they going to oppose the increase in gas and electric for rest of us
No they're not, Shirley, because, basically, Labour are just like the Tories. They'd rather defend the rich than the poor in deed if not as much in word.
Look at people on benifits who get more money than full time worker. I mean someone with 2 or 3 kids get over 20k a year benifits (more than me) just for speading and 9 months later, BOOM quids in.
I was fortunate to work most of my life ,I would never begrudge the unemployed anything I would not swap places . THEY!!! are not the problem Greed and large scale fraud in the City has killed this country. But you blame them SHAME ON YOU.
I dont blame them, they dont decide how much they get. It just annoys me some get more money than those in full time employment
never blame people on the dole shame on you. you could be on the dole one day.
Why shouldn't there be a cap on benefits.i work don't get a pay rise unless the minimum wage goes up. My husband works as well he doesn't get a rise every year. We could do with Maggie back now.
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Every sympathy Diane. Benefits up 5.2% last year just for sitting at home. Go out to work and you are told no rise, be thankful you have a job. Something ain't right somewhere
Diane, I love you.
It was the "Great" Maggie that destroyed the countries future job prospects with deregulation of the Banks .But you go a head and blame the weakest in society I do not .
Windows Live User
I am pleased the real ill and disabled got a better payrise this time 5.2% of a little is still a little more to help
What a joke ed cooper clarke is. Opposes everything but never says what he would cut himself.
Of course. He hasn't a clue.
Most Public sector workers have had salaries frozen for 3 year as benefits have risen by around 10% Public sector worker suffer whilst those they pay tax to keep maintain the same standard Cut benefits by 10% to match civil servants rises
Windows Live User
Boy this govt really has you convinced that there are millions out there lying in warm beds because they A want to B can afford too C are Lazy D drug addicts There are also a lot who have lost their jobs in this recession and despite every effort have found nothing Also a lot who are to ill to work but put 40 years of paying in NI before falling ill so are not collecting a an"entitlement" as the govt would have you believe Remember sick and disabled people are being pushed off benefits at any cost, All to make it look good, and to do that this govt needs you to believe in their propaganda. It may be you who falls ill or loses your job. What then I wonder.
How is it fair for those not working get a bigger increase than those who are? I have no axe to grind - I'm not currently working!