Have your say: 2014 will be ‘the year of hard truths’, says chancellor

Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne Photo: Andrew Cowie/PA Wire Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne Photo: Andrew Cowie/PA Wire

Monday, January 6, 2014
11:20 AM

Chancellor George Osborne has set out plans to cut a further £25 billion from public spending - including £12 billion from benefits - after the 2015 election, as he said that the size of the state and the welfare system must become “permanently smaller”.

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The comments came in a speech in which Mr Osborne said 2014 was the “year of hard truths”, warning voters that only further austerity measures can pay for tax cuts and better job prospects.

He claimed that Labour was “simply not being straight with people” by suggesting that there was a “magic wand” which would allow a chancellor to spend more on public services.

In the first major political speech of the New Year, Mr Osborne sought to draw clear economic dividing lines with Labour ahead of next year’s general election, insisting that the Government’s economic plan is working, but that more time was needed to “finish the job”.

“Thanks to the hard work of the British people, our economy is on the mend - and our country is doing better,” said Mr Osborne.

“But what was hard won can be easily lost. So we have a choice in 2014. We can give up, go back to square one, risk everything.

“Or we can confront the hard truth that more difficult decisions are needed - and work through the plan that is turning Britain around. I say: ‘let’s finish the job’.”

• Do you agree with the chancellor’s announcement, or is there a better way to improve the economy? Tell us your view below, take part in the online poll, or email ben.woods@archant.co.uk

11 comments

  • The crash and subsequent recession was not caused by social security claimants.It was caused by unregulated bankers and it is the bankers who should be made to pay through a Financial Transaction Tax.The time has come for the Robin Hood Tax on the spivs and speculators of high finance.Also,do the Tories intend to remove housing benefit from those under 25s who are parents of young children,nearly half of the under 25s claimants?Are young families who fall on hard times to be thrown onto the streets?

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    Peter Watson

    Monday, January 6, 2014

  • the hard truth is that the UK is indebted to the tune of 1000x GDP, just as Iceland when they went bust. Osborne's party npolitical electioneering with pensions has no hand and foot, if he wants to find the next round of cuts from the social welfare budget, yesterdays promises are pie in the sky.

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    ingo wagenknecht

    Monday, January 6, 2014

  • If certain MPs bash on about Equal Opportunities and Equal pay, then they should only have a 1% Payrise themselves.

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    che bramley

    Monday, January 6, 2014

  • We are not all in this together.

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    guella

    Monday, January 6, 2014

  • Peter Watson don't forget the acts of an irresponsible government and a chancellor who gave our gold away and wasted the public money. Do you remember he gave millions to companies in the North who wanted cash, is it coming back to you now Labour almost bankrupted the country. The whole thing is a mess and there is no simple answer.

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    Sweet cheeks

    Tuesday, January 7, 2014

  • The "hard truth" is that this £25bn could easily be found by (a) not proceeding with HS2 which will be an obscene waste of public money & which almost nobody wants, and (b) making large mulitnational corporations pay the tax they should on their profits gained here, estimated at £35bn. However Osborne has no interest in these as they don't suit his or the Tories agenda, much preferring to blame "benefit scroungers" for the financial mess the country is in. If he wants to target scroungers MPs should have their pay & expenses significantly cut rather than an 11% increase, along with PCCs.

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    DocScott

    Monday, January 6, 2014

  • We still have to pay off the massive debts left behind by the previous government who thre money at the North of England and made it possible to follow a career of leaving school and having a child every year to live off taxpayers. We need to start thinking liek Bill Clinton in America, who although being a Democrat, solved the problems of teenage pregnancies overnight with simple legislation. We must also stop thinking of 25 billion as a large amount! This is less than 2% of government spending. We spend too much and that is a fact. Hard working middle income earners have been hammered to start the country back to recovery, it is only fair to continue to get money back from not such hard working non earners.

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    DaveG

    Wednesday, January 8, 2014

  • There is money to tag lamp posts but insufficient money for an adequate ambulance service in Norfolk - says it all really, apart from the fact that it does not seem to matter which of the main political parties are in power for poor decision making to adversely affect our daily lives.

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    Joyce

    Monday, January 6, 2014

  • The 'Hard truth' is that we, the taxpayers, will be squeezed until we squeak, while the professional rip-off merchants that we laughingly call 'the government' continue to claim for plugs and bicycle clips and any other amount of trivial stuff. It's an absolute outrage, and we just put up with it like the sheep we are.Taser 'em!

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    backwoodsman

    Monday, January 6, 2014

  • There is money to tag lamp posts but insufficient money for an adequate ambulance service in Norfolk - says it all really, apart from the fact that it does not seem to matter which of the main political parties are in power for poor decision making to adversely affect our daily lives.

    Report this comment

    Joyce

    Monday, January 6, 2014

  • Come to the wonderful Borough of Gt Yarmouth and you will see just how many under 25s there are on housing benefit. Teenage girls who see motherhood as a way of jumping to the front of the housing list and getting a flat plus benefits. It would be wrong to take housing benefit away from all those under 25 but there is a need to put right the crazy system we have at the moment. Being a teenager and starting out life on welfare through ones own personal choice should never, ever be encouraged.

    Report this comment

    BG

    Monday, January 6, 2014

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

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