Osborne To Cut Welfare Budget By Extra £10bn
Chancellor George Osborne has vowed to slash another £10bn from the benefits budget as he insisted he would "finish the job" of rebuilding the economy.
The Chancellor, speaking at the Tory party conference, was bullish as he defended his record in Government and declared that the Tories should be "proud" of the tough action taken.
Mr Osborne told delegates the economy is now "healing" but admitted Britain faced further austerity because the crisis had been worse than feared.
He also sought to seize back the One Nation slogan from Labour leader Ed Miliband by arguing that the Tories are the true party of "one nation working together".
Outlining his intention to slash the welfare budget further on top of the £18bn in cuts already in motion, he suggested jobless parents with large families could be targeted.
And he prompted anger by indicating that under-25s currently on housing benefits rather than living at home with their parents could lose the financial support.
"How can we justify the incomes of those out of work rising faster than the incomes of those in work?," he asked.
"How can we justify giving flats to young people who have never worked, when working people twice their age are still living with their parents because they can't afford their first home?
"How can we justify a system where people in work have to consider the full financial costs of having another child, whilst those who are out of work don't?"
Mr Osborne also defended the move to slash the top rate of tax, insisting the 50p rate had been "cripplingly uncompetitive", raised no money and cost jobs.
And despite his Lib Dem partners insisting they would not sign up to further welfare cuts without a new levy on the rich, he also ruled out a wealth tax or a mansion tax.
"I am not prepared to contemplate things that make no economic sense and destroy jobs... our future lies as a country where wealth creation is not something to be penalised - but encouraged," he said.
"Our entire economic strategy is an enterprise strategy. We will be the government for people who aspire."
His stance puts him on an immediate collision course with the Lib Dems and sets the stage for bitter coalition infighting ahead of the autumn statement in December.
Shortly before the Chancellor's speech, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said: "Nothing in detail has been agreed on further cuts and savings to welfare.
"The Conservatives are entirely entitled to set out their stall about what we do as a country as we have to tighten our belts further.
"My attitude has always been very simple, very straightforward: that as we have to make more savings as a country, you start at the top and work your way down not other way around.
"These are the kind of things that we will thrash out in Government in the months ahead."
The address in Birmingham contained new plans to let workers buy shares in the firms they work for in return for dropping unfair dismissal, redundancy and flexible working rights.
Employees would receive 2,000 to 50,000 shares that would be exempt from capital gains tax when sold.
Dismissing the possibility of an economic Plan B, Mr Osborne insisted: "We made a promise to the British people that we would repair our badly broken economy.
"That promise is being fulfilled. The deficit is down by a quarter. There are one million more private sector jobs. The economy is healing.
"That healing is taking longer than we hoped, because the damage was greater than we feared but let the message from this conference be clear: we will finish the job we have started."
He insisted his catchphrase "we're all in this together" was more than just a slogan and still applies today, promising that future austerity would hit the richest hardest.
He admitted that the Tories had probably "paid a price" for being candid about the huge economic challenges but insisted there had been no alternative.
Mr Osborne dismissed Mr Miliband's attempts to take on the "One Nation" mantle in his conference speech as "risible" and attacked him for failing to mention the deficit.
He insisted the "modern Conservatives" represent corner shop workers, teachers, commuters, pensioners and entrepreneurs.
"They are all part of one nation - one nation working together to get on. That is the nation we represent. These are the people I serve as Chancellor," he said.
He added: "To the people of Britain I say this. Whoever you are, wherever you come from, if you're working for a better future - we are on your side."
Mr Osborne asked for the party's "trust" and "resolve" as he issued a stark warning about the huge challenges ahead.
"It isn't too much to say that the future prosperity of our country, the future of a free enterprise system under law, even the stability of Europe, is in question in a way it has not been in my lifetime," he said.
"I cannot pledge to you simple answers or a quick solution. This year has shown we are a country confronted on all sides by great difficulties.
"But this year has also shown we live in a country of courage and creativity. A country that can do incredible things and succeed when we pull together."
The address in Birmingham followed a Sky News poll by Ipsos Mori showing just 27% of people are satisfied with the Chancellor's performance - his lowest ever personal rating.
Meanwhile, London Mayor Boris Johnson was greeted by passers-by chanting "Boris! Boris!" as he arrived at the conference to address a fringe event later organised by the Conservative Home website called Re-elected and Olympotastic, and to deliver a keynote speech on Tuesday.
Mr Johnson has been touted as a possible alternative to David Cameron as Conservative leader.
Asked if he was in Birmingham to make trouble for Mr Cameron, Mr Johnson replied: "I'm here to support the party."
what do you think?
He wants people to get up on their own feet and do things then at the same time he wants them to live home with mummy and daddy. This is not the way to get people up on their own feet.
Ladies and Gentlemen, re-introducing The Nasty Party! Slaver to the wealthy, punish the sick and the poorest. Same old Tories.
Steven James Farmer
And ofcourse nick clegg always keeps his promises.
Welcome back to Dickensian Britain. Poor sleeping on the streets no social healthcare no social services. The workers maimed in the day to day activities left to starve. Workhouses and debters jails will be the next step. Yes some people abuse the system of welfare benefits just like some of the richest abuse the tax system. Make savings by investing in the public services to catch these people. Do everything to stop health tourism and if that means an ID card then so be it. But before you batter everyone not in the top 10% of society sort out the real crimes carried out no matter from either end of the financial spectrum.
John.A rather more balanced view than some of more politically emotional outpourings on here
A government of the rich , by the rich, for the rich. 'Just as we should never balance the books on the backs of the poorest...' then he proceeds to cut £10bn worth of benefits. What a hypocritical rich boy.
They sure will finosh the job they have started. The coumtry is already in ruins.
Yes the shift worker in the dark hours, looking at their out of work neighbour, wondering if their going to join them, Mr Osbourne again blaming the less well off, balance and fairness are words to impress.(couldn't use the word tool's as he wouldn't know how to use them) with no meaning to Conservative's.
How about trying to do something about the 370,000 migrant workers who are now claiming benefits, I sure you could make a fair saving there. I thing if a migrant worker becomes unemployed they should only be able to claim for a max of 3 months ( and thats generous), before they are sent back to their place of origin. I think the British tax payer is sick to the back teeth of supporting these people lifestyles. Plus you would almost certainly cut down the crime rate.
Prepare to say goodbye to concessionary bus passes,free prescriptions and winter fuel allowances - but wait I hear you say , that is just penalising an easy target isn't it !
Do the tories want a civil war or what?
Cameron's Britain, welcome to a charity soup kitchen near you, just like our neighbours across the pond, coming next, tent cities and dossing in your car.
I don't want ther poorest in society targeted in this way but the problem is defining who are the poorest. Means testing is expensive & bureaucratic and is a big no no to the Labour party. I do like the idea of not paying extra benefits for kids born after the parents go onto benefits, it is their choice. There is no such thing as a free lunch however and with free prescriptions & travel someone somewhere has to pay for all this whether the recipient needs it or not.
My my.At least 5 people DO want the poorest in society targetted--interesting
Dave i think people are interpretating your comment as meaning you are against free prescriptions and travel for pensioners hence the thumbs down
Hold on, didn't the Lib Dems say at their conference they would support no more welfare cuts, unless the tories started to make the rich contribute to the ecnomy more? So here is Osbourne refusing the mansion tax and cutting welfare. So come on Lib Dems ....let's see what you are made of. Just joking, don't panick Lib Dems, we already see you for the pathetic cowards that you are.
stop giving.to migrants. look after our own, elderly, sick, genuine poverty. no more money for people having lots of kids on benefits.lm a shift worker doing nts etc. sick of lazy layabouts claiming everything. Bring it on!!!!
People do not have 'lots of kids' when they are on benefits. Only 4% of family claimants have as many as four kids. Those big family photos you see in the Sun and Express and Mail are anomalies that are paraded for their rightwing agenda of cutting benefits for all. If such cuts were made for all, it would only mean the further increase of child poverty. Why not properly tax the millionaires who are REALLY cheating the tax system? Of course, the Tories/LibDems/Labour elite won't do THAT.
Windows Live User
Andrea, Your brief statement makes more sense than Osbourne's rambling one. My compliments. At least you have the decency and grey matter to recognise that not all on benefits are scroungers, and that some ended up in that position doing this country a service like true Britons should and now really need support. I will vote for you if you go after Osbourne's job
Osborne speaks for the worker who wants to get on (but not for the ex workers who cannot get any kind of viable work). I look forward to the day when we can watch him and his ilk take that final public ride on the wagon to you know where. Don't worry about expensive fuel, there will be enough out of work people who will willingly pull the wagons with their bare hands!
So he wants to cut benefits for the British people but he will still give tens of thousands even hundreds of thousands pounds to illegals and migrants. However if you were a MP or civil servant or a quango man then your benefits stay. He wants to give thousands of billions to the wealthy but nothing to us. Osborne has borrowed more money in 2 years than labour did in 13 years. In 2009 our finance increased but since he became chancellor it has fallen lower than the last 70 years
Windows Live User
Osbourne is cruel and wrong in his statement above, where he has assumed that everyone claiming a benefit is a layabout as his speech infers. A lot of people were crippled from work injuries suffered whilst working hard, paying taxes, trying to support Britain and this is their time of need. Osbourne has the audacity to include All benefit claimants in his round robin statement, instead of having the decency to be more specific and exclude the real sufferers from his statement Where does he get off in trying to bring around the worker to being his buddy in talking about shift-workers? Some of us have done shifts that he could never dream existed in modern Britain. Personally, in my time, and on more than 1 occasion, I have experience of 2 1/2 days/nights at work (weekends) and never seeing a bed or food. all to get a job finished on time. Their will be a lot of you who have done the same. But now because he wishes to try and snuggle upto real workers and turn them against REAL NEEDS benefit claimants he thinks its old school to try and come out on the side of the shift worker gggrrrr Indeed we have a lot of scroungers, but the needy should have been recognised in his statement and separated out from the scrounger, who include some of the wealthiest who are the worst scroungers in Britain.
Agree, but don't beleive this myth that there are a lot of scroungers. There some, but only about 1% of welfare benefits are defrauded. £13bn still goes unclaimed! However, think of all the millionaires who are dodging tax and domiciled abroad to avoid taxes. Osbourne is merely making a crude attempt to divide and rule workers against unemployed workers much in the same way they tried to divide private sector workers against public sector workers. - I'm sure you are onto him.
Sorry, it's not £13bn benmefits unclaimed, it's £9bn.
And you can bet the Ministerial Parasites will continue getting their inflated allowances paid, how many millions is this worth ? I saw one report of an MP claiming £5,000 for a weeks travel, a person on benefits gets £5,000 for a whole year to live on. I'm glad I live in a fair society!!!
MPs are back to claiming just as many expenses as before the 'MPs expenses scandal'.
The Lib Dems should now leave the coalition so we have a new general election. Bye Bye Osborne and Cameron
When i started work in the 60's there were scroungers living on the dole, 50 years later there are scroungers living on welfare no government has had the balls to do anything serious about it, far easier to milk dry the hard working families that are the backbone of the country