Osborne to slash welfare after the next election
The Conservative-led government will trim an extra £10 billion a year from its welfare budget and make cuts across the board in the next phase of austerity if re-elected, its finance minister said yesterday.
The 2015 election is likely to be decided on the health of the economy, how fast the deficit should be tackled and what areas of spending and taxation each party would focus on to balance Britain’s stretched public finances.
The Conservatives, who had bet growth would reduce the deficit and help them win the next election, are struggling with a recession and a series of blunders which have put them about 10 points behind the Labour Party in opinion polls.
Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne and Prime Minister David Cameron want to use their party’s annual conference in Birmingham to project an image of economic prudence and win back support.
They hope voters will welcome a further £10 billion of cuts in welfare spending – an area often portrayed in the media as rife with scroungers and waste.
“How can we justify giving flats to young people who have never worked?” Osborne told party supporters before a large Union Jack-design backdrop at a party conference whose slogan is “Britain can deliver”.