Osborne: nine out of ten families better off with welfare reform
The Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, argued that nine out of ten families are better off with the introduction of his welfare reforms and tax changes, according to extracts from his speech at a supermarket in Kent on Tuesday.
It comes after a petition of more than 124,000 signatures was passed calling for Work and Pensions Secretary, Iain Duncan Smith, to prove he could live on £53 a week, equivalent to £7.57 a day.
The coalition government has faced criticism from charities and churches who say the reforms will hit the poorest after the changes that took effect on Monday.
In a fightback speech in Kent today, the Chancellor told charities, churches and the opposition that they are on the “wrong side” of public opinion. Defending “every line” of welfare spending is not “credible” according to the Chancellor, who added, “Those who defend the current benefit system are going to complain loudly”.
The Chancellor also warned that the economic situation means that the welfare bill is unsustainable but called the 50p income tax cut “a big con”.
He also admitted that an out-of-work couple without children can lose £150 year, but cited Treasury figures that 14 million families will be better off as a result of April’s reforms by an average of £300 a month each, reflecting the freeze in council tax and fuel duty and the increase in tax-free personal allowance.