Create jobs to cut welfare spending

the row over plans to increase many forms of benefits payments by 1% was voted on in the Commons last week, but the row over the Welfare Benefits Uprating Bill will continue for a long yet.

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The reform of our welfare system and how we best provide support to those looking for work, or who are unable to work, is something I believe Government need to look at. But this Government is not reforming it, it is dismantling it.

When he made his Autumn Statement, Chancellor George Osborne, right, claimed the Bill was about standing up for hard-working people who get up every morning and leave behind the sleeping 'shirkers' "living a life on benefits."

But of the millions of families who will be affected by these cuts, research estimates 68% are in work.

The Children's Society has calculated up to 300,000 nurses, 150,000 teachers and 40,000 soldiers will face a real terms cut in their pay as a result of these changes.

The Chancellor might be reluctant to admit his economic mismanagement, but the best way for him to reduce our country's welfare spending is to create the jobs and opportunities to get people into work, pay tax and to provide for themselves.

Instead, the Government is making it easier for firms to fire workers by reducing their redundancy notice and is not doing enough to get millions off the dole.

The Prime Minister and the Chancellor simply have the wrong priorities and stand up for the wrong people.

To pay for the Government's economic failures, they have decided to reduce the welfare budget but, at the same time, the Government feels able to give a tax cut of £2000 a week to people earning over £1million.

The cumulative saving from the richest between now and 2015 is £1.1billion; the cumulative saving from those on lower and middle incomes is £5.6bn.

For all its bluster, the Government is on course to take five times as much from the poor and middle-income UK as from the richest in the UK.

MPs from across the political spectrum joined to support a Labour amendment to the Government's welfare changes. The Government might have won the first vote, but as we continue through the year I hope the cross-party campaign against the changes will continue.

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