Author Topic: Planned welfare cuts 'to be slowed'  (Read 182 times)

Description: the first all-Conservative Budget since 1996 is also likely to cover Sunday trading, inheritance tax and social housing and to raise tax allowances.

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Planned welfare cuts 'to be slowed'
« on: July 08, 2015, 07:03:26 PM »



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Planned welfare cuts 'to be slowed'


Budget 2015 to slow the planned pace of welfare cuts




George Osborne

                        George Osborne will present an all-Conservative Budget for the first time


George Osborne will slow the pace of planned welfare cuts when he presents his Budget, the BBC understands.

The chancellor is set to take three years - instead of two - to cut welfare spending by £12bn a year.

Measures restricting tax credits for families with more than two children are anticipated.

The first all-Conservative Budget since 1996 is also likely to cover Sunday trading, inheritance tax and social housing and to raise tax allowances.

Measures expected to be in the Budget - which Mr Osborne will deliver at 12:30 BST - include:

It is understood there will be a rise in the amount of money people can earn before paying any tax, while the threshold for the 40p tax rate will also be raised.

The cabinet has been briefed on the Budget's contents, in a meeting that lasted almost one and a half hours.

Labour's acting leader Harriet Harman said the economy needed to be strengthened "but not at the expense of people being made worse off".

Mr Osborne is set to promise "bold" policies that will "secure Britain's future", when he addresses the House of Commons later.

The Tories have not yet said where the bulk of the £12bn in welfare savings they have pledged to make will come from.

BBC political editor Nick Robinson said Mr Osborne would reveal the detail of the cuts, which would be phased in, with £8bn by 2017/8 and a further £4bn by 2018/9.

Analysis by Nick Robinson, BBC political editor

"Big. Very big." That's how one well-placed insider responded when asked to describe tomorrow's Budget.

It ought to be. After all, this is the first Conservative budget in almost 20 years. The last was delivered by Ken Clarke in 1996. It has to deliver promises repeated for so long but yet to be delivered, like the cut to inheritance tax.

It has to fulfil the Tories' stated goals of cutting spending, cutting welfare and cutting tax whilst still claiming to be the "workers' party" pursuing a One Nation "we're all in it together" philosophy.

Read Nick's blog in full

Tax credits are expected to be in the firing line, with David Cameron having promised to end the "ridiculous merry-go-round" of taxing low earners then handing them money back in benefits.

BBC Newsnight understands tax credit entitlements will be reduced for families with more than two children.

The measure, which would apply to new families coming into the system, would save £1.4bn.

The Conservatives have pledged to eliminate the UK's budget deficit by 2018.


                        Mr Osborne hosted a reception for Victoria Cross and George Cross veterans on Tuesday


Mr Osborne will also announce that the annual amount given to recipients of the highest military and civilian honours for bravery, the Victoria Cross and George Cross, is going to be increased to £10,000 a year.

Recipients have traditionally received an annuity, which was worth £2,129 last year.

The cost of the annual, tax-free award will be met using £3m in banking fines levied by the Financial Conduct Authority, the chancellor said.

Follow the Budget on the BBC

Presenting his Budget, Mr Osborne will say "the greatest mistake" the UK could make would be to "think all our problems are solved".

"You only have to look at the crisis unfolding in Greece as I speak to realise that if a country's not in control of its borrowing, the borrowing takes control of the country," he will say.

For Labour Ms Harman said: "The Conservatives should be thinking about the economy as a whole, and every corner of the country, not the Tory backbenchers and their fortunes.

"We don't want to see political tactics; we want a focus on making the economy work for everyone."

The National Union of Students warned that plans to scrap maintenance grants, and convert them in to loans, would deter poorer students from going to university.

The grants can be worth up to £3,000 a year. The changes the government is said to be proposing could save about £1.6bn.

But NUS president Megan Dunn said: "If grants are cut, it could mean the cost of student loans will go up for everyone or repayment conditions will get tougher than they already are.

"This is yet another unreasonable barrier to accessing higher education."

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