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Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Scale of proposed Tory welfare cuts show value of Lib Dem restraint in last Parliament

The Times reports on claims that Iain Duncan Smith has been asked to see if he can find £15 billion of welfare cuts, a third more than promised during the election campaign.

They say that Treasury officials have asked the Department for Work and Pensions to examine child tax credits and working tax credits as possible sources for the savings. Another option being considered is the lowering of the welfare cap below the £23,000 given in the Tory manifesto to £20,000.

These sorts of cuts were vigorously resisted by the Liberal Democrats in the last government. Such a squeeze on welfare would mean that the working poor would be worst hit by the cuts, whilst any reduction in child tax credits would also make it even harder for the government to hit statutory child poverty targets.

It is at times like these that the value of having the Liberal Democrats as a restraining force within government is highlighted. Left on their own the Tories will revert to type. This story confirms that.
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