Public spending cuts, which have the potential to cut the welfare budget by billions of pounds, will continue into 2020 if the 2017 election is won by Conservatives, George Osborne recently revealed.
In the Chancellor’s speech at the Conservative conference, he drew a clear line between Conservatives and both the Labour and Liberal Democrats when he announced that the Tories will go beyond balancing the UK’s books and create a budget surplus.
According to Osborne, the surplus would act as “insurance against difficult times” in order to avoid repeating mistakes made by Labour that resulted in a huge deficit.
Osborne would leave the budget for infrastructure projects intact, but he raised the idea of creating tax cuts for working class people while avoiding tax raises for others, which would require stricter control of day-to-day spending by several government departments.
With the safeguarding of education, health, and pension budgets, Treasury sources have admitted that the £200 billion spent on tax credits and welfare each year will have to be cut.
Next year’s Tory manifesto will include new fiscal rules to establish the surplus. According to a Treasury source, the Treasury knows creating a surplus will require tough decisions, including decisions made in regards to welfare.
After the Chancellor confirmed stricter benefit sanctions against Britons who are suffering from long-term joblessness, Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith recently announced some unemployed UK residents will be required to participate in 35 hours per week of “supervised job search activity” for up to six months. Those who do not participate will lose their benefit.
A proposed limit on welfare payments to two children per household and a proposed restriction on the housing benefit for residents under 25 years of age have both been blocked by Liberal Democrats, but they can easily find their way back on the agenda with a Tory victory in 2017.
The Chancellor decreed, “The battle to turn around Britain is nowhere near finished and we must finish what we started.” However, he then optimistically stated that the economy was rescued together, it will recover together, and UK residents will share in the rewards together.
However, Rachel Reeves, the current shadow Chief Treasury Secretary, said, “No one will believe a word that George Osborne says. According to Reeves, rather than having the books balanced by 2017 as promised, Osborne is responsible for setting borrowing to £200 billion, and although he may seem to welcome capital spending, it will be cut in 2017.