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Budget Resolutions and Economic Situation — Amendment of the Law

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:57 pm on 22nd March 2016.

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Photo of George Osborne George Osborne Chancellor of the Exchequer and First Secretary of State 12:57 pm, 22nd March 2016

Yesterday, my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State gave exactly the Government’s position, which is that,

“we have no further plans to make welfare savings beyond the very substantial savings legislated for by Parliament two weeks ago, which we will…now focus on implementing.”—[Hansard, 21 March 2016; Vol. 607, c. 1268.]

I will now address the specific issue of welfare savings and disability, but I should have thought that the hon. Lady, when she got to her feet, might have thanked the Government for delivering the flood defence schemes that she asked for her city, and which were in the Budget statement a week ago.

Let me turn to the disability benefits. We are proud that this Government are providing more support to the most disabled people. It was very clear that while the reforms proposed to personal independence payments two weeks ago drew on the work of an independent review, they did not command support. We have listened, and they will not go ahead. Even if they had, this Government are spending more on disabled people than the previous Labour Government ever did.

People have asked what this means for future support for disabled people, for our welfare cap and for the numbers in the Budget. Let me directly address all three points.

Several hon. Members rose