Monday, 14 April 2014

No action on cost of living means social security bill is going up, not down, under the Tories

Ed Miliband called for an overall cap on social security spending last year - and in the House of Commons this week I voted for a cap.

But far from having a grip on the public finances, David Cameron and George Osborne have spent £13 billion more on welfare than they originally planned. Their failure to tackle low wages, deal with the cost-of-living crisis and get more homes built means that under the Tories the social security bill is going up instead of down.

A Labour Government would do things differently. Where this Government has failed, Labour will make different and fairer choices to keep the social security bill under control and tackle the root causes of spending.

We’ll introduce a Compulsory Jobs Guarantee to get young people and the long-term unemployed back to work. We’ll scrap the Bedroom Tax – it is unfair and the evidence shows it may end up costing more rather than saving money. We’ll stop paying the winter fuel allowance to the richest five per cent of pensioners. And we’ll get more homes built and tackle the low wages which have pushed up spending on benefits.

Last week’s Budget proved you are worse off under the Tories, with no action to deal with the cost-of-living crisis. Wages are down £1,600 a year since David Cameron became Prime Minister.

Britain needs a Labour Government to freeze energy bills until 2017, to put young people back to work with our jobs guarantee, to expand free childcare and cut taxes for working people on middle and low incomes. We have a long term plan to tackle the cost of living crisis head on.

David Cameron is throwing taxpayers money down the drain - under the Tories we have had the slowest recovery for 100 years, breaking their promise to balance the books by 2015 and borrowing £190 billion more than they planned – and nearly a million young people are still unemployed. He can’t build an economy that works for everyone because he puts a privileged few before hard working families.