Welfare state now unaffordable says Osborne

Wed, 04/12/2013 - 14:04 -- nick

The welfare state is no longer affordable and needs to be cut further.

This is the message Chancellor George Osborne will deliver when he gives his Autumn Statement on Thursday, according to The Telegraph.

The paper is usually has a strong line into the Tory party, and unemployed people should brace themselves for another assault on their income.

Unsurprisingly, pensioners are likely to be spared again as they vote in large numbers and often support the Conservatives at elections.

Osborne is likely to put a new law forward capping the total spend on non-pension social security at £100 billion, including housing benefit, although it is predicted that Jobseeker's Allowance, income support and Employment Support Allowance will be spared because they are related to the success or failure of the economy.

This admission should be welcomed by unemployed people; the government is keen to show worklessness is more an issue of character than the economy, and a move to recognise the economy's place should force this to a halt.

According to The Telegraph, "Welfare payments account for around £120 billion of the £720 billion the Government spends each year", and Osborne believes this needs to be the focus of more cuts on top of his existing benefit cap, cuts in individual payments including tax credits, housing benefit cut, bedroom tax and many others.

Osborne himself is quoted as saying that “the cost of welfare is one of the things that makes the public finances unsustainable,” despite no proof and the fact that the government spends more on the NHS and nearly as much on pensions, both of which have been protected from cuts.

The Liberal Democrats have barred the Tories from cutting welfare any further during the current coalition government, meaning the changes would only be enacted after 2015 if the Conservatives won the election.

UnemployedNet will be live tweeting during the Autumn Statement, so please join us on Thursday from 11.15 am on Twitter.

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