Cameron ‘considering extra £25 billion welfare cuts’

A newspaper report has suggested the Prime Minister is considering ordering billions of pounds in extra cuts to social security spending. It says the proposal is contained in a confidential policy paper by Steve Hilton, the outgoing Number Ten adviser.

According to the Daily Telegraph, the plans include a new crackdown on housing benefit, and a ‘mark two’ system of universal credit to help push people off benefits back into full-time, rather than part-time, work. There are also understood to be a range of measures to encourage more women, particularly single mothers, to return to work. The measures would be designed to make £25 billion in cuts from benefits spending, beyond those already planned.

Ministers have been quick to dismiss the reports. The Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith is quoted as describing the £25 billion figure as ‘absolute nonsense’. And the Welfare Reform Minister Lord Freud said the reports were ‘froth’ and ‘nothing more than speculation’.

Source: Report in the Daily Telegraph, 15 May 2012

Link: Daily Telegraph report