Chancellor George Osborne developing the UK budget by Tim Lezard Unions have lined up to condem George Osborne’s attacks on in-work benefits, pay and pensions. The Chancellor yesterday said a new Tory government would freeze benefits paid to people of …

Tim Lezard Europe, UK, GMB, PCS, UK unions,
Chancellor George Osborne developing the UK budget

Chancellor George Osborne developing the UK budget

by Tim Lezard

Unions have lined up to condem George Osborne’s attacks on in-work benefits, pay and pensions.

The Chancellor yesterday said a new Tory government would freeze benefits paid to people of working age for two years, a policy that would hit the poorest in society, with the average family losing £300.

TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady said: “In today’s low-pay Britain, in-work benefits are a lifeline for millions of families. Working families have already been hit by three-quarters of the total cuts the government has made to welfare and now the plan is to put them in the frontline again.

“The Chancellor’s new cuts would hurt working families with children most of all, pegging their tax credits and housing support behind rising prices and rents. This is yet more chipping away at the social safety net working families pay into, putting them in greater danger of destitution if they become sick or lose their job.

“It tells you everything you need to know that George Osborne has unveiled more harsh cuts for working families on the same day as tax breaks for the pension pots of the richest one per cent.”

Blaming Osborne’s commitment to cutting public sector pay is to blame for next month’s public sector strikes, PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka said: “George Osborne’s government, propped up by the Lib Dems, has slashed the living standards of public servants while the super rich have been rewarded with tax cuts.

“Days after voting for air strikes on Iraq likely to cost billions of pounds, politicians of all parties continue to peddle the myth that there is not enough money around to pay civil servants, nurses or teachers.”

GMB pensions officer Phil McEvoy said: “The Chancellor’s reduction in the tax charged on untouched pension pots will be welcomed by those who can afford to leave their pension savings untouched until the age of 75.

“These will not be the hard-pressed pensioners who will need the security of converting savings to an annual income or who face the very real prospect of using up their savings before they die.  This is another blatant example of the Tories looking after the privileged few.”


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Tim Lezard

Campaigning journalist, editor of @Union_NewsUK, NUJ exec member; lover of cricket, football, cycling, theatre and dodgy punk bands

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