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Budget means more welfare cuts
Wednesday 21 March 2012
The Budget includes £10 billion further cuts to welfare, following the Welfare Reform Act
The Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, announced the 2012 Budget today (21 March).
Reaffirming the government’s “unwavering commitment to deal with Britain's record debts”, he promised far-reaching tax reforms, support for growth and rewards for work. The Budget set out the government’s plans in three areas – creating a stable economy, a fairer, more efficient and simpler tax system, and further reforms to support growth.
These plans include £10 billion further cuts to welfare. Osborne said that despite the passing of the Welfare Reform Act only two weeks ago, “the welfare budget is set to rise to consume one third of all public spending” and that “if nothing is done to curb welfare bills further, then the full weight of the spending restraint will fall on departmental budgets”.
David Congdon, Mencap’s head of campaigns and policy said: “The government's Welfare Reform Act has just received royal assent, leading to anticipated cuts in welfare benefits of £18 billion a year, and many disabled people are already deeply concerned for their future. These concerns will be exacerbated by the Chancellor’s announcement that he is planning a £10 billion further cuts to welfare by 2016/17.
"People with a learning disability are some of the most excluded in society and are far more likely to live in poverty. The government has a responsibility to ensure the cuts do not disproportionately impact on those people least able to afford it, yet the Chancellor's focus on further welfare cuts means many disabled people will fear they will continue to be the hardest hit.
“If the government seeks to make further cuts in expenditure, we urge them to adopt a wider view as to how these could be realised, looking beyond just one area of spending alone.”