Teaching Comparative Government and Politics

Thursday, June 04, 2015

Austerity? Not here. Not in the UK. This is not Greece!

Neither the PM nor his allies nor his opponents nor The Guardian used the word austerity. But look what they're talking about: taxing welfare benefits.

Cameron fails to rule out cuts to disability benefits
David Cameron has declined to rule out cuts to disability benefits as part of George Osborne’s planned £12bn welfare savings to be outlined this year.

The prime minister, who confirmed to MPs that he stood by his commitment during the election campaign to maintain child benefit in its current form for the next five years, failed to give a similar commitment on disability payments…

The Conservatives were forced during the election campaign to deny they had plans to cut disability benefits after an internal Department for Work and Pensions document, which included proposals for a series of welfare cuts, was leaked to the BBC.

The emails suggested that civil servants, acting on instructions from the Conservatives, had drawn up proposals to tax disability benefits, saving £1.5bn a year. The BBC reported that civil servants were examining the possibility that disability living allowance, personal independence payments and attendance allowance (paid to pensioners over the age of 65 who have personal care needs) would no longer be paid tax free…

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