Autumn Statement

Part of Oral Answers to Questions — Prime Minister – in the House of Commons at 1:25 pm on 3rd December 2014.

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Photo of George Osborne George Osborne The Chancellor of the Exchequer 1:25 pm, 3rd December 2014

Universal credit is a change to our welfare system that makes sure that it always pays to work. I pay tribute to my right hon. Friend the Work and Pensions Secretary because he is pioneering what I think are important far-reaching changes to the incentives in our country that encourage work and support people in work. We have introduced a welfare cap. That is a brand new mechanism for controlling welfare spending, including identifying pressures such as rising housing benefit bills that were completely ignored in the past by the Labour Government. If a Government are not prepared to address increases in one benefit with reductions or measures on other benefits, they are required to come before the House and ask for a vote because they have reached the cap. We have not done that because we are within the cap, as the OBR report confirms.