5 May 2015
The Guardian has revealed a list of potential cuts drafted by the Department for Work and Pensions.
The Conservatives have pledged £12bn in cuts after the election – without specifying how they would be made.
A document drawn up by officials at the DWP, seen by The Guardian, contains a list of areas likely to be slashed.
The list contains ruthless changes to all corners of welfare; stricter ‘fit-for-work’ tests, increasing the bedroom tax, forcing single parents back to work, and the abolition of statutory maternity pay.
The Shadow work and pensions minister, Rachel Reeves, said: “The only way the Tories can fund their extreme plan to cut £12bn from social security is by cutting child benefit and tax credits, abolishing maternity pay and increasing the cruel bedroom tax.”
“Labour has a better plan to control the costs of social security. We’ll save £1bn by cutting housing benefit fraud and overpayments and control housing benefit spending by tackling rip-off rents, getting 200,000 homes a year built, increasing the minimum wage to £8 an hour and giving tax rebates to firms who pay a living wage.”
Research by the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) confirmed that the figure of £12bn “would almost certainly require significant cuts to some of the main benefits – child benefit, housing benefit, tax credits and disability benefits…The biggest winners from the Conservatives’ income tax proposals would be those with incomes between £50,000 and £150,000”.
TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady said; “The IFS report shows that the Conservatives will cut taxes for the better off, and fund it with cuts to benefits and tax credits for the very hard-working families they claim to champion.
“With one in five earning less than the living wage, millions of working people depend on a proper welfare safety net to make ends meet.
“This is not dealing with abuse, it’s ripping the heart out of a welfare safety net that any of us might need.”
Read the full list here.