‘WITH this abhorrent proposal, the Chancellor is saying that some children will be marked out from birth as second class citizens with their lives worth less than others.’
Alison Garnham, Chief Executive of Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG), was denouncing Osborne’s speech to the Tory Party Conference in Birmingham yesterday, when he said unemployed families would have their benefits capped if they have more children.
Osborne said a further £16bn of ‘savings’ must be found by 2015/16 to meet his target of balancing the budget within five years, but insisted that the budget will not be balanced ‘on the wallets of the rich’.
He would be cutting £10bn more from the welfare bill by 2016-17, on top of the £18bn announced in 2010.
Osborne announced measures for doing this, including limiting housing benefit for the under-25s, so that young people without a job will have to live at home, further cuts in child tax credits and the ending of benefit rises in line with inflation.
CPAG leader Garnham continued: ‘We were told it would be those with the broadest shoulders who have the greatest burden, but the richest are getting tax cuts and it is those with the narrowest shoulders, our poorest children, who are being made to pay the price.’
Family Action Head of Policy and Campaigns Rhian Beynon said: ‘Plans to curb child tax credit and below inflation rises in welfare support will put further pressure on family finances which are already in meltdown.’
Public and Commercial Services union general secretary Mark Serwotka said: ‘Added to the cuts already in train this will mean £30 billion being taken from the sick, disabled and vulnerable – the same amount being handed to businesses in tax breaks.
‘On top of the cut to the top rate of income tax for the very wealthy, this absolutely nails the Tory lie that we can’t afford to offer support to those who need it most.
‘If we as a society refuse to support our most vulnerable we have lost the right to be called civilised.’
Paul Kenny, GMB General Secretary, said: ‘Now we see George Osborne, the man who is giving a £40,000 windfall to each of the millionaire elite, announcing more attacks on the least well off in our society and on workers’ rights.’