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George Osborne has confirmed that there will be further massive cuts in the benefits budget, but refuses to say where they will fall, leaving working age claimants the likely target for the worst excesses.

In his budget speech yesterday Osborne confirmed there will be a further cut of £12bn in benefits spending, but gave no further details. Given that pensioners are largely protected, that leaves unemployed, sick and disabled claimants as the only realistic target for big savings.

This morning Osborne told the Today programme:

‘I’m proposing the same pace of cuts as over the last five years.”

He added:

“We’ve saved £21 billion in this Parliament and we need £12bn in the next. People can judge me by my track record”.

We know that there are plans to reduce the household benefit cap further and to stop housing benefit for some under 25 year olds. But these measures will be nowhere near enough to meet the proposed level of savings.

This is especially so when you consider that, with out-of-control rents, the housing benefit bill is set to continue to expand.

It certainly is possible to judge Osborne and his fellow ministers by their track record.

Over the last five years we have seen the introduction of the bedroom tax, the replacement of DLA with PIP, the time limiting of ESA, massive increases in sanctions and the destruction of the social fund, to name but a few.

None of these measures were in the Conservative party manifesto. And none of them, it seems, have come close to being harsh enough in Osborne’s view.

Where is there left now to make cuts in the benefits budgets? Where do you think the axe will fall? Let us know in the comments section below.


+1 #15 Elaine Burrows 2015-03-25 20:54
I predict that ESA will be cut to the same rate as JSA, PIP eligibility criteria will be made even more strict and the Enhanced rate will be phased out.
Further reduction in C Tax support and reductions to housing benefit could also be on the cards.
There may even be an attempt to restrict Child benefit and child tax credits to no more than 2 children.
Disabled working tax credit could also be phased out.
We already know what the Tories' track record is regarding poor people. If they get another term in government they will regard it as a mandate to declare open season on benefit claimants.
+3 #14 ben1 2015-03-21 17:28
The cuts will be Dla all sickness Benifits it's an easy target they are not bothered about how I'll people are they want to cut everyone . More homeless disabled people on the streets that what this government will deliver back to Victoria n times poverty
+4 #13 angela 2015-03-20 08:52
The end is in sight god help us all i cant see any hope for benefit claiments
+3 #12 Bill 2015-03-20 07:38
Quoting Acorn Antiques comment # 7

[quote] I really can't see that any party will be better than what we have,

Are you crazy?

Do you TRULY think that ANY other Party would treat the sick and disabled the way that the Tories have treated us?

What Planet are you on ? !

+5 #11 Paul Richards 2015-03-19 23:01
Hi tintack,
Yes, you are right in what you have said - the Osborne Budget yesterday was a total whitewash of what is actually happening in Britain. It is all due to being voted back into POWER - the Tories are really scared that the general population will actually find out what is happening! The IFS are right in saying what they did - they are telling the TRUTH - but, as you say, the right-wing press will, no-doubt decide it all in the long run. It is totally shameful, in a so-called 'Democratic' system that most of the 'people's' say is totally ignored. The Tories are so deluded that they believe everything that they say - they ignore 'ordinary' people - they only know 'riches' through the 'inherited silver spoon'.
The Tories DO NOT understand that the 'underlings' are not so well off as THEY are. They think that ALL people are rich & well off.
This is simply not true - the so-called hard-working families have been especially hard hit by their policies - BUT the main people that they have unremittingly hit are the vulnerable, the poor, the sick and the disabled.
I am watching 'Question Time' at the moment and the Tory Minister is, as usual, totally lying through his teeth!
+4 #10 Paul Richards 2015-03-19 20:50
Hi all,
Following Osborne's lying, self-congratula tory and cynical Budget performance yesterday, I predict everything (and probably more) of all of you on here have said. That is if this dreadful Tory Government gets back in again. Should this occur, whilst as usual looking after all of the rich, - then the vulnerable, the poor, the sick and disabled can again look forward to more of the same and probably worse. The Tories are hell bent on making life as bad as possible for 'any' working age claimants. And still no sign of any intervention at all from the European Human Rights people!
The LibDems arch clown - Danny Alexander today tried to save some of his party's votes by going up in front of the Commons to read out what his party's Alternative Budget would be like! I have never known that to happen before - from any party!
Meanwhile, IDS, (if he was that sort of person) should at this moment in time be shaking in his shoes as the online petition, with now only 65 signatures to go, is now almost complete.
To get this infinitely cruel, heartless and absolutely 'unsackable' First Minister of the DWP to face the Parliamentary Standards Committee and answer for it all, then please go to and sign at:
+4 #9 tintack 2015-03-19 17:21
Has anyone seen the Tory press' coverage of the budget? It's incredible - "UK booming" apparently! How people get taken in by this drivel beggars belief. I wonder what they'll say about the IFS analysis mentioned in the BBC article linked by micksville, which takes the spin apart pretty effectively. I'm guessing they won't give it too much attention!
+4 #8 tintack 2015-03-19 17:00
Osborne won't say this side of the election what more he wants to cut from the benefits budget, and that can only be because he's scared of the public reaction - which is disturbing, because this is a public which has already been duped into supporting the current cuts.

It would seem that Osborne thinks that even public opinion which has been softened up by the daily barrage of propaganda would view the further cuts he wants to make as unacceptable. Still, I'm sure the right-wing press will praise him to the skies for taking a penny off beer duty.
#7 Acorn Antiques 2015-03-19 16:56
I see the future as desperate. The only big benefits area that could be cut is for the elderly and no party wants to cut there at all. I really can't see that any party will be better than what we have, not that I want this for another 4 or 5 years. But they seem so similar now. How can we trust that one of them will do what they promise anyway?
We are bottom rung of the ladder, and when you're there, nobody worries if you get kicked down cos it doesn't affect them.
+5 #6 Bill 2015-03-19 16:03
We heard last year that the WRAG group benefit was to be reduced to just 0.50p a week more than Jobseekers Allowance so we expect that to happen.

Where we live, our Council has decided that from April this year everyone needs to contribute to Council Tax so, along with all others including the sick and disabled as we are ourselves, we have to pay the so called ''minimum'' which is several hundred pounds a year. And that has increased from zero in past years.

We have already been told that next years Council Tax 2016/17 will see a rise so we can expect to have to pay even more next year.

We also think that Housing Benefit will go the same way, that is to say that everyone, including the sick and disabled, will have to pay ''something'' so we expect to have to find yet another few hundred pounds a year from our ''frozen'' benefits probably from next year 2016/17.

When we spoke to a representative of our Council she uttered the immortal words to us saying '' you have to understand that you must pay something because we are all in this together''.

Finally, yes, in case you were wondering, our Council is wholly Tory run with no coalitions involved.

Anyone still want to vote Conservative in May?

Mr & Mrs Bill
+2 #5 micksville 2015-03-19 15:51
+3 #4 micksville 2015-03-19 12:25
Expect further tightening of criteria for esa and pip, freezing or abolition of premiums in sg, end of wrag, introduction of welfare stamps for addicts, alcoholics etc on benefits....tho ugh the latter wont necessarkly be a cost saving measure. Further restrictions on appealing,and claimants having to pay something towards housing benefits....a freeze or decrease on child tax credits and the child benefit limited to 3 children...end of housing benefit to under 25's
+3 #3 tintack 2015-03-19 11:26
And remember, Farage is now offering the Tories a post-election deal, while the Tories try to frighten the children by banging on about the SNP (who are opposed to their Social Darwinism). Anyone who still thinks UKIP are anything other than a bunch of hard-right Tories needs to think again.
+2 #2 carmind 2015-03-19 10:53
The introduction of charges for benefit appeals? It's already been introduced for employment tribunals and IDS has mentioned it in the past.
+2 #1 shadowpony 2015-03-19 10:28
the pensions bill has gone up by 7bn,so Osborne has to make savings of same from wrking age +a bit more. I predict freezing of pip in future years, plus freezing of esa premiums for those in ESA sg. pensioners triple lock needs protecting according to ossie, and he will do this at the expense of working age claiments. govt may even try to get rid of wrag in ESA, as ids tried to do, and make it jsa or esa sg as the only levels of support for working age claiments.

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