Chancellor George Osborne today outlined the government’s plans for welfare spending over the next three years – and we want to know what you think.

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Annual rises in most working-age benefits – including Job Seekers Allowance, Employment and Support Allowance and Income Support – are to be capped at 1pc in the coming years, cutting a further £3.7 billion from the welfare bill, said Mr Osborne.

The move means that upratings are likely to be below inflation in future years, gradually reducing the real value of benefits over time and breaking the link which has previously seen them rise in line with prices.

But the Chancellor said he would protect the vulnerable by continuing to increase carer benefits and disability benefits in line with inflation.

What do you think about the changes? Will they unfairly hit those who rely on benefits, or is a rise of any kind better than expected? You can leave your comments below this story.

Mr Osborne’s announcement fell short of the freeze in benefits which some pressure groups feared, but was still greeted with dismay by some anti-poverty campaigners. It comes on top of £18 billion in welfare cuts that had previously been announced.

Delivering his autumn statement to the House of Commons, Mr Osborne said that it was “fair” that welfare recipients should receive similar increases in income to those enjoyed by public sector workers, who are getting a 1pc rise as a lengthy pay freeze comes to an end.

Ministers are understood to have been eyeing an end to the link with prices since it delivered a 5.2pc uprating in April this year due to higher-than-expected inflation the previous autumn.

Mr Osborne told MPs: “We have to acknowledge that over the last five years those on out-of-work benefits have seen their incomes rise twice as fast as those in work. With pay restraint in businesses and government, average earnings have risen by around 10pc since 2007. Out-of-work benefits have gone up by around 20pc.

“That’s not fair to working people who pay the taxes that fund them.”

The new cap means that benefit recipients will get “more cash but less than the rate of inflation”, said Mr Osborne.

It will save £3.7 billion in 2015/16 and deliver “permanent savings each and every year from our country’s welfare bill”, he told MPs.

Anne Longfield, chief executive of families charity 4Children, said: “The measures announced in today’s autumn statement will provide little cheer for those families who are already struggling to cope with the rising cost of living.

“Small changes such as reducing the uprating of benefits can make all the difference to vulnerable families, tipping many into poverty or breakdown – a consequence that will see our welfare system ultimately pay a higher price in the long run.

“It has never been more pressing to start putting families at the heart of the economic recovery. Investing in families now is the only way to get our economy back on track and offer thousands of families a lifeline before their financial difficulties become irreversible crises.”

Links to other autumn statement stories and our live blog are available at the top right of this story.

You can leave your views by signing in and posting a comments below.

17 comments

  • Well, no surprises here. The aid should stop overseas. What about taking from the rich for a change?We are already tightning our belts. How much more can we reduce to pay for our heating and food? I feel for families with young children. With christmas coming, it's going to be really hard for them.

    Report this comment

    carol stead

    Wednesday, December 5, 2012

  • Where's a silly token 'tax' on the 'rich', like some bogus tinkering with stamp duty or other nonsense that's not really aimed at raising revenue, but more to keep the Libdems quiet and satisfy a few populist headline writers. How much tax revenue did he give away when he cut the 50p top rate of tax the other year? A bit late to start squealing about 'fairness'. Obviously he benefited along with the rest of the Tory party and their fat cat croniesdonors. Never mind, with all the business tax giveaways the tories will be raking in even more, and who knows Lucy they might even create a few low paid demeaning jobs along the way.

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    Police Commissioner ???

    Wednesday, December 5, 2012

  • The economics of running a household, business or country are the same - you work from what your income is and you have an idea of what you can spend. Our country has not been doing this for many years and has borrowed the shortfall. The fact is that we must live within our means and not borrow money that our children will have to pay back. People have families that they cannot afford and the State or tax payers have to bail out. The NHS has turned into a baby-sitting service for drunks. Hundreds of thousands of people can't even speak English. I feel like I'm living in some failed experiment.....

    Report this comment

    oldowl

    Wednesday, December 5, 2012

  • @ Lord Elf. I agree with you totally. Don`t forget all benefits were increased this tax year by 5.2%. How many people in work had that sort of increase in their pay packet? It is high time we got away from an economy so heavily dependent on state aid. Brown`s myriad of benefits created this part time culture as people were encouraged not to work a full week or otherwise their benefits would stop. It suited employers because they paid less NI etc and had a flexible work force available to them as and when they needed it so they are now highly unlikely to want to change the status quo. Hence people are now finding the extra hours are no longer there. As regards the 50p tax band if it was such a good revenue raiser why did Labour not introduce it during their time in government but instead thought it a such good wheeze to leave it as an elephant trap for the Coalition.

    Report this comment

    BG

    Wednesday, December 5, 2012

  • Rob the Poor and Reward the Rich, with 78% of all politicians in Westminster being millionaires, I doubt very much that they will be having a poor Christmas this year?

    Report this comment

    Farquarson-Smythe

    Wednesday, December 5, 2012

  • I did not choose to work part time hours, I cannot find a full time job. my two jobs added together does not add up to full time hours. Because I am single I have to find a thirty hour job to qualify for working tax credits. There no jobs, I have been looking for two years, And yes to be honest, I would be better off on the dole,I knew I only had two pounds to spend after paying my dues and demands, Because I am earing I only get a little help with my rentcouncil tax. It cost me extra for packups and fuel, If you are at home you can make up cheap meals, and only use the car when necessary. Irecord every thing I spend, every month I try to see if I can reduce my expenses, very depressing. I do not even qualify for a food bank donation....for the record I neither smoke drink and my social life is non-existent.

    Report this comment

    lucy

    Wednesday, December 5, 2012

  • Where's a silly token 'tax' on the 'rich', like some bogus tinkering with stamp duty or other nonsense that's not really aimed at raising revenue, but more to keep the Libdems quiet and satisfy a few populist headline writers. How much tax revenue did he give away when he cut the 50p top rate of tax the other year? A bit late to start squealing about 'fairness'. Obviously he benefited along with the rest of the Tory party and their fat cat croniesdonors. Never mind, with all the business tax giveaways the tories will be raking in even more, and who knows Lucy they might even create a few low paid demeaning jobs along the way.

    Report this comment

    Police Commissioner ???

    Wednesday, December 5, 2012

  • as a very underemployed person, struggling to live on a very tight budget, relying on housing benefits.I will be worse off. I caanot cut back much more, unless I stop eating...

    Report this comment

    lucy

    Wednesday, December 5, 2012

  • Governments and politicians like to go for easy targets,those on benefits,the disabled,the unemployed and the pensioners.The small matter of expenditure on foreign wars,the 18 billion that goes to the EU the appalling waste of money on pointless quangos does not seem to bother them! The insanely high levels of taxation have killed off many small businesses and impoverished many who now have to use food banks and charity shops. Scrooge is alive and well and living in Downing street!

    Report this comment

    Harry Rabinowitz

    Thursday, December 6, 2012

  • Stop blaming Osborne. He has a degree in History and absolutely no experience of banking or financial matters. He is Chancellor because Cameron thought it would be a jolly wheeze to have his old chum living next door. The dear old civil service advisers are responsible for putting the words in Osborne's mouth . People who have lived in the cloistered world of comfort and ease of the bureaucracy and have never ventured into the reality of having to work for a living in the private sector

    Report this comment

    norman hall

    Wednesday, December 5, 2012

  • Surely the headline should be about some bogus 'tax' on the rich, something to keep the Libdems happy and divert attention from the further erosion of the welfare state, you know the sort of thing, some populist nonsense with no real intention of raising additional tax revenue but that will keep the headline writers happy. Its a bit late to start worrying about the deficit now. How much did he give away when he cut the top rate of tax the other year. A tax cut which he benefited from along with the rest of the Tory party and their fat cat croniesdonors. It would be totally unrealistic to expect these top earners to give up any of this benefit in favour of paying more to people on welfare. Never mind Lucy, with all the business tax giveaways the Tories will be raking in even more and you never know, they might create a few menial low paid jobs along the way.

    Report this comment

    Police Commissioner ???

    Wednesday, December 5, 2012

  • D'oh!!! ingo, child benefit can't be claimed by world-wide migrant workers, only the failed former communist eu blocs wasters are entitled to claim for bogus babies. £35bm floods over to the EU bogus commie babies every year, while 25,000 real British OAP's d*e from the cold....boot the EU commie fraudsters out now!!!! British benefits for Brits only...simples.

    Report this comment

    nrg

    Friday, December 7, 2012

  • the usual losers moaning at immigrants who can't speak the lingo, dimwits who don't realise that the largest group of them come from the USA and Oz. Stop overseas aid? how about stopping defence expenditure, the MOD is in permanent red figures, so is the network rail and those poor coffee shop chain, my heart bleeds for them. QE monies, after we bailed the banks out, ends up in tax havens, not to be invested in jobs and developments, but used as collateral nest egg. This is how the conversation went. 'David', mhh yes George?... 'would you make me chancellor if you get elected and I don't tell them about you extra curricular activities, well, you know what I mean, you know what we did at university and the Bullington club, (sniffling noises), remember? 'off cause George, no problems, just as you let go of that Oz flit of yours, she'll spill the beans, you know'. Ok David, shall keep my nose clean...what of your stint in SA David, was that all kosher, you, David kelly and those sexy nukes? Did Andy Coulson know anything about this or why did you give him a job? etc. etc.

    Report this comment

    ingo wagenknecht

    Wednesday, December 5, 2012

  • Child benefit paid to migrant workers whose children reside in Europe should be cut off completely. With no checks on bogus kids claims, this is another nuLabour failing which they signed up to.

    Report this comment

    nrg

    Wednesday, December 5, 2012

  • It's about time benefits were capped. Those that are actually WORKING are getting less than inflation (or even no) pay rises. Some are even having to take pay CUTS.

    Report this comment

    Lord Elf

    Wednesday, December 5, 2012

  • Lets be honest when you watch the debt total going up 20k every 10 seconds whatever he does is not going to be nearly enough

    Report this comment

    david106

    Wednesday, December 5, 2012

  • This foolish man has painted himself into a corner and now there is no way out.

    Report this comment

    John L Norton

    Wednesday, December 5, 2012

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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