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George Osborne’s benefits speech – full text

2 April 2013

2:18 PM

2 April 2013

2:18 PM

George Osborne’s speech is below. As you will see, it is a bold defence of the government’s policies on tax and welfare, including the 50p rate cut. There was a clear moral tone to Osborne’s words, which may go some way to challenging the notion that he is an insubstantial political figure. It was, he implied, wrong to delay deficit reduction, wrong to penalise work, wrong to condemn people to poverty.

There was bald politics too as he sought the votes of ‘hard-working families’. He attacked the ‘vested interests’ which were on the wrong side of the debate, goading them to carry on complaining and alienate themselves. This simple strategy has already worked: the leadership of Unite has just issued a predictable reaction: “‘Economic Dracula’ Osborne emerges to suck more life out of the economy.”

It wasn’t all plain sailing. There are questions over his figures: prompted by the distribution of a speech from CCHQ, which gave different numbers and marginally different emphasis on Labour’s role in our difficulties.

A communications cock-up? Surely not. This incident has marred an otherwise successful outing.

Osborne’s speech

Good afternoon, thank you for inviting me to be here at Morrison’s today.

One of your company slogans – “every penny matters” – is a very fitting catchphrase for what I want to talk about.

I want to talk about the major changes we’re making to our tax and welfare system this month. Changes that are all about making sure that we use every penny we can to back hard working people who want to get on in life.

Changes that are all about backing people like you.

For too long, we’ve had a system where people who did the right thing – who get up in the morning and work hard – felt penalised for it, while people who did the wrong thing got rewarded for it.

That’s wrong.

So this month we’re going to put things right.

This month, 9 out of 10 working households will be better off as a result of the changes we are making.

This month we will make work pay.

Now, those who defend the current benefit system are going to complain loudly.

These vested interests always complain, with depressingly predictable outrage, about every change to a system which is failing.

I want to take the argument to them.

Because defending every line item of welfare spending isn’t credible in the current economic environment.

Because defending benefits that trap people in poverty and penalise work is defending the indefensible.

The benefit system is broken; it penalises those who try to do the right thing; and the British people badly want it fixed.

We agree – and those who don’t are on the wrong side of the British public.

But this isn’t just an argument about whether these changes are fair or not.

It’s really about the future of our country.

When I think about the future, I think about the kind of country my kids and your kids are going to grow up in.

The world is going to be quite a different place.

We’re facing more and more competition from vast new economies like China and India.

There are quite literally billions of people who are joining the world economy. That’s human progress. If we’re not careful, Britain risks being out-worked, out-competed and out-smarted by those hungry for a better life.

Fortunately, this country has a lot of strengths. British people are some of the hardest workers in Europe.

Our companies produce some of the best inventions in the world.

But we aren’t going be able to compete if politicians waste your money or we rack up debts we can’t afford to pay off.

When I became Chancellor, we were forecast to have the biggest deficit of any major economy in the world.

The deficit is the gap between what the Government spends and what it raises – and in Britain that gap got bigger than almost anywhere else.

By taking hard decisions in the last few years to save money, this Government has cut that deficit by a third.

But it’s still too high.

Because of that deficit, seven pence in every pound of tax you pay is going to be wasted.

It will have to be spent not even on paying off the national debt – but just servicing the interest on that debt.

You spend hours here working hard.

You pay your taxes out of your earnings.

I want every penny of that money to be spent on the things that matter to you and your family: a better NHS, good schools and policing, strong defence, and decent pensions.

Not on paying the interest bills on the national debt.

Some politicians seem to think we can just wish away Britain’s debt problem.

They want to take the cowardly way out, let the debt rise and rise and just dump the costs onto our children to pay off.

I don’t think that would be fair.

And I don’t think we’d get away with it.

The interest charges would soar.

Interest rates would rocket.

People with mortgages would struggle.

Businesses with loans would go bust.

Jobs would be lost.

So we are making changes to our tax and benefit system so this country can live within its means and compete in the global race the Prime Minister has spoken of.

That’s what this speech is about – that’s what the changes we are making this month are about. It’s about making the country fairer – and protecting our future. And there are three things we are doing.

First, reforming the welfare system so it’s fair on people like you who pay for it, and fair on people who need help to look for work.

Second, creating jobs in our economy.

And third, making sure when people are in work, they can keep more of what they earn.

Let me take each in turn.


Let’s start with the welfare system.

I think people in this country understand that the welfare system needs to change.

In 2010 alone, payments to working age families cost £90 billion.

That means about one in every six pounds of tax that working people like you pay was going on working age benefits.

To put that into perspective – that’s more than we spend on our schools.

That’s one reason why we’ve got such a big deficit.

But the system was not just unaffordable.

It was fundamentally broken.

The system became so complicated, and benefits so generous, that people found they were better off on the dole than they were in work.

And the figures show what happened as a result.

Even at the end of the economic boom in 2008 there were more than four million working age people on out of work benefits.

And here’s the saddest fact of all.

We had nearly two million of our children living in families where no-one worked – the highest proportion of any country in the European Union, including countries much poorer than us.

That’s a worry for the future.

Once it becomes the norm in an area not to work, welfare dependency can become deeply entrenched, handed on from one generation to the next.


And governments of all colours let too many unemployed people get parked on disability benefits, and told they’d never work again.


Because people on disability benefits don’t get counted in unemployment figures that could embarrass politicians.

It was quick fix politics of the worst kind – and the people who lost out were you, hard working taxpayers who had to pay for all this… …and those on disability benefits who could have worked but were denied the opportunity to do so.

What this Government is trying to do is to put things right.

We’re trying to make the system fair on people like you, who get up, go to work, and expect your taxes to be spent wisely.

And we’re trying to restore hope in those communities who have been let down by generations of politicians by getting them back into work.

So our reforms have one simple principle at their heart – making sure people are better off in work than on benefits.

Take Housing Benefit.

When I took this job, I discovered there were some people who got £100,000 a year in Housing Benefit. £100,000 a year in benefit.

No family on an ordinary income could ever dream of affording a rent like that.

And you can imagine what that does for someone’s incentives to get a better paid job – because almost everything extra they earn will just be taken away from them in lower housing benefit.

We can’t have a system that penalises you for going out to work and wanting to get on. So we’ve put a stop to those staggering payments and put a cap on housing benefit.

We’ve made sure that you can’t get more than £400 of Housing Benefit a week in this country. That’s still a pretty generous amount.

And yet when we did the pressure groups and welfare lobby attacked it as not enough.

They still say that people should get more than £400 a week housing benefit.

They don’t seem to realise that the money to pay these benefits comes from people who work hard, who pay their taxes, and many of whom can’t afford £400 a week in rent.

This week, we’re bringing in further common sense changes to benefits.

We’re making savings to council tax benefit – that’s a benefit that went up by 50% previously.

And we’re also changing the housing benefit rules.

We’re saying that if you continue to live in a council house that’s bigger than you need, you’ll need to make a contribution towards the extra bedroom.

We’ve got 1.8 million families waiting for social housing, and yet there are a million spare rooms across the sector.

If you live in private rented accommodation and receive Housing Benefit – these rules already apply – and have done for nearly 20 years.

You don’t get money for a spare room.

Treating both groups of people the same, regardless of which landlord owns their house is only fair. Another change is taking place too.

Next week, on April 8th, we’re also making sure that benefits, in the economic jargon, are only uprated by one percent.

What this means in reality is that benefits won’t increase more than many people’s wages.

In these difficult economic times, many people in jobs haven’t seen their incomes rise by much, if at all.

Some have even seen it cut.

And we’re also having to impose a one percent salary increase on people in the public services like nurses and teachers.

So it’s only fair and right that the same rules apply to people on benefits.

Fair to you, people in work.

There’s another, even more significant change we’re making this month.

Families out of work can claim various different benefits – and they can end up with an income far higher than an average working family.

Why on earth would someone go out to work if that’s the case?

So this April we’re introducing the new Benefit Cap.

The Benefit Cap has a very simple principle at its heart: no family that’s out of work should receive more in total benefits than the average family gets in work.

The cap will be set at £500 for a couple, or someone with children, and £350 a week for a single adult.

That’s £26,000 a year for a family, or £18,000 for a single adult.

Most working people think frankly that’s pretty high – yet still the pressure groups complain it’s not high enough.

Who here, who pays their taxes, and pays for the benefit bills of others thinks £500 a week in benefits is too little?

Who here, who goes to work and sends money to the Government, thinks families that aren’t working should get more than £26,000 a year?


Those who campaign against a cap on benefits for families who aren’t working are completely out of touch with how the millions of working families, who pay the taxes to fund these benefits, feel about this.

We are on your side.

The new Benefit Cap will be introduced in parts of London from 15th April – before we roll it out across the country this summer.

With all our welfare changes, we’re simply asking people on benefits to make some of the same choices working families have to make every day.

To live in a less expensive house.

To live in a house without a spare bedroom unless they can afford it.

To get by on the average family income.

These are the realities of life for working people.

They should be the reality for everyone else too.

And we’re going to go further – replacing all those complicated benefits and tax credits with a single, simple Universal Credit which ensures you’re always better off working.

We’re trialling it in the North West of England this month – to make sure it’s ready for national roll out later this year.

Be in no doubt: reforming the welfare system is a big job, and it’s hard.

But I’m proud of what we’re doing to restore some common sense and control on costs.

In recent days we have heard a lot of, frankly, ill-informed rubbish about these welfare reforms.

Some have said it’s the end of the welfare state.

That is shrill, headline-seeking nonsense.

I will tell you what is true.

Taxpayers don’t think the welfare state works properly anymore.

When did this start to happen?

When we created a system that encouraged people to stay out of work rather than find a job.

Our reforms are returning welfare to its most fundamental principles – always helping the most vulnerable, but giving people ladders out of poverty.

And the politicians who should have to explain themselves are those who have given up on trying to get people working again.

In reality there’s nothing “kind” about parking people who could work on benefits. There’s nothing fair about a something for nothing culture.

The pundits and politicians who are spending this week firing off letters to newspapers, or touring the television studios, are missing what people actually want.

People don’t want a welfare system that keeps them in poverty.

Most people on benefits want to work.

They want a welfare system that helps them into work, that lifts them up, that gives them pride, self-worth and dignity.

That’s why we’re building a benefits system that means you’re always better off in work.

And that’s why we’re building an economy that creates real, lasting jobs.


For it wasn’t just our benefits system that was broken.

Our economy broke too.

Fixing that economy has been a hard, difficult process.

And yes, it’s taken longer than anyone hoped.

But we’re getting there.

We’re fundamentally rebalancing our economy, away from debt, away from the public sector, away from relying on a select few industries like the banks, away from being dependent on the City of London… …to an economy where prosperity and businesses are shared across the country; an economy that invests in the industries of the future; an economy which makes things again and where there are good, well paid jobs not just for this generation – but for our children too, in that competitive world I told you about.

And we’re delivering results.

Over one million private sector jobs have been created in our economy over the last three years.

The rate of employment has risen faster here than in the US and three times as fast as in Germany.

Last year, more businesses started in this country than in any other year before.

And in industries like car manufacturing, Britain is now back to being a world leader.

So as well as all the benefit changes this April we’re also doing even more this month to make sure Britain competes and thrives and jobs are created here instead overseas.

Yesterday, corporation tax was cut to 23 percent – that means it’s lower here than in the other largest economies in the world.

And we will get it lower still, to 20%.

This week we are also introducing new research and development tax breaks so companies can invest in the high technology and intellectual property that are the future of the British economy.

And we’ll be abolishing the jobs taxes altogether on many hundreds of thousands of our small businesses in the coming year.

To help people who work in construction, and support families who want to own their own home, but can’t afford the deposits these days, we’re launching our new Help to Buy scheme this week.

And here’s another change we’re making.

On Saturday, the top rate of tax will be reduced from 50p to 45p.

I know this is controversial – but if we’re serious about Britain succeeding in the world, it’s an economic essential.

In a modern global economy, where people can move anywhere in the world, we cannot have a top rate of tax that discourages people from living here, setting up businesses here, investing here, creating jobs here.

If you don’t believe me, ask France.

They’re planning to whack up their top rate of tax – and you know what’s happening?

Job creation is down as people are leaving the country.

The opposite is happening here because we are welcoming entrepreneurs and wealth creators – and the jobs they bring with them

Let’s be clear. The 50p tax was a big tax con. When the 50p rate was introduced, the amount collected in income tax fell by billions of pounds as the wealthy paid less.

So we got the worst of both worlds: a tax rate that discouraged enterprise and didn’t raise more money from the rich.

You can’t pay down the deficit with that.

You can’t fund the health service with money that never arrives.

Giving Britain a sensible top rate of tax may not be a popular decision – but my job is not to take decisions that please everyone.

My job is to take the hard decisions that are right for the economy and the country – decisions that help create jobs and help Britain get ahead in this world and help give all our kids a brighter future.


So we’re reforming welfare to encourage work.

We’re boosting the private sector to create jobs so that those who want to work, can work.

The third part of our plan is to make sure when people are in work, they get to keep more of what they earn.

In other words to make sure you get to keep more of what you earn.

I’m a low tax Conservative.

I believe what you earn is your money, not the Government’s money.

So I want to take away less of it in tax, and leave you to spend it how you wish.

Give me the choice between people choosing how to spend their own money, or a politician choosing how to spend it, and I know who I would pick.

That’s good for the economy.

That’s good for society – the more people get to keep from what they earn, the more likely they are to work, the more independent and responsible they will be.

And it also simplifies the system.

Today, we have the bizarre situation where hundreds of thousands of people on low incomes pay tax, only to have to apply to get their money back again in benefits.

But it has to be a real tax cut – paid for by doing the hard working of cutting back government spending.

Not a tax cut paid for with borrowed money – borrowed money that is paid for with higher taxes in the future.

This week – because we’ve done the hard work on spending – we’re bringing in the largest tax cut in a generation.

And it’s paid for.

From this Saturday, the personal allowance – the amount of money you can earn before you start to pay tax – will rise from £8,105 to £9,440.

Nine out of ten working households will be better off as a result of the reforms we’re making this month.

And the average working household will be better off by over £300 a year.

That’s roughly equivalent to an average monthly shop here at Morrison’s.

And next year, we’re going further.

We’re going to increase the personal allowance to £10,000.

Let me repeat that– from next April, you won’t pay any income tax at all on the first £10,000 you earn.

This will mean nearly three million more people will pay no income tax at all.

That’s £700 pounds less in tax for working families than when we came into office.

And let me make clear: we’re not doing it by borrowing more money – meaning you’ll pay for it down the road.

No, we can afford this because as a country we have taken some difficult decisions together on public spending– and it’s only right that the British taxpayer gets rewarded for that.


Let me end by saying this.

You sitting here know that there’s no easy way out of the problems that had built up in this country. We’re going through some tough times.

And we will hear plenty from the people who want to say there’s no debt problem.

People who say that there’s no benefits problem either.

That the changes we are making are unnecessary and unfair.

What we’re doing this coming week is making welfare fairer, helping to create jobs, and making sure all of you can keep more of what you earn.

We’re supporting hard working people.

That’s the way to protect our future, and make the country fairer too.

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Show comments
  • Hookeslaw

    it is as I thought – something rotten in the state of Denmark…
    The man who challenged IDS to live on £53 a week is himself in receipt of £156 per week. And he is a market trader. Do the inland revenue have a note of his name and latest tax declaration?? (Telegraph for more if you go behind the paywall)
    This would seem to suggest that as well as running a cash only self employed businesshe gets £156 pw in benefits.
    I’d like to suggest how silly the numpties signing their fatuous petition must feel now.
    But they are beyond sense and feeling.

    • Mrgsee

      Any excuse to avoid the truth, you do your public school friends proud. It matters not whose name the petition was started in only that it is fact that people live on this and considerably less. I have been made unemployed recently and despite receiving housing benefits I’m left to top them up to the tune of £88 per month to continue living in my extremely modest bedsit.That leaves me with just under £50 a week to pay, household bills, phone bill, internet, vehicle tax, insurance and AA, internet, bank charges which on the breadline you’re sure to clock up and food. These were all contracts signed up for when I was ‘comfortable’ in work, so IDS and Osborne using their apples and oranges spiel that this petition is irrelevant due to their comfortable MP salary is not only drivel but frankly an insult.

  • Daniel Maris

    It’s positioning. He knows the game is up. This is post-Stalingrad. He knows there will be no meaningful economic recovery. It’s the “master strategist” trying to position himself as the darling of the right wing of the Conservative Party, so in opposition he can launch a leadership challenge.

  • Daniel Maris

    On mature consideration, having read the whole of the text and accepting that it is rare for everything a government does to be completely misguided or incompetent, I have to say:

    “What a self-satisfied f***ing tw*t”.

    Yes, I know that’s not big or clever, but it’s how I feel and I am confident the opinion will be shared by millions.

    • Chris lancashire

      You’re right. It’s not big or clever.

      • Hookeslaw

        And its wrong.

        Funny place this blog – its a bit like being in the middle of the charge of the light brigade
        nutjobs to the left of them nutjobs to the right of them.
        into the vallety of dearth

        howling mad nutjobs.

        • Daniel Maris

          Well we will see whether I am right and whether millions of nutjobs agree with me about his performance. The guy has never had to do more than lift a glass of claret in his life. To be lecturing the poor while giving tax breaks to the rich will not go down well is my prediction.

    • Makroon

      “Self-satisfied (expletive) twit”, and this from Daniel Maris of all people.
      You have to laugh.

  • Daniel Maris

    “Look at me. I scrimped and save to ensure I had a good education. When I had the opportunity to benefit from the best university education in the world I didn’t waste it on drinking, carousing and hiring in exotic dancers from London…As soon as I could I sought gainful employment in a useful profession. ”

    Oh no, he can’t give that speech can he?

    Cure the economy. Stop lecturing the poor.

  • Moey Mw

    how on earth does a single adult get £18,000 a year when they receive between £56 and £71 p/w and where are the jobs that they are supposed to find, people claiming jsa have to apply for approx 20 jobs every 2 weeks, iin order to receive their benefits, surely if the jobs were there unemployment would be non-existant

    • Hookeslaw

      employment has been increasing and unemployment declining.

  • mark hill

    he aint gotta worry about HIS KIDS everyone knows they to a private school and all thoughes around him including him are millionaires he will say anything to justify a tax cut but would he have given the working class a tax cut? NO because that would be UNFAIR and need to keep the working class on a tight leash its all rhetoric for the next election LABEL people so badly that they are stuck with the stigma of being a scrounger!what about the people who lost their jobs from being bought out by foreign firms and ripped apart.You cannot put a label on people when you do not understand how they live the debts they build up through no fault of there own everybody loves being on the dole yea right thats why i am applying for six or seven jobs a know what would be fair getting the tax from people who live abroad just so they don’t have to pay like f1 drivers in Monaco people who live in the Bahamas ect oh well better stop before my head bursts damn hypocrite

    • Chris lancashire

      All of the “working class” have been given an extremely large tax cut by the raising of the Personal Allowance to £10,000 such that the lowest paid will now pay no tax at all. I expect that doesn’t fit with your prejudices though.

      • mark hill

        not according to my advisor when i went to see him today and mr fat cat Osborne is planning on freezing or even cutting the minimum for paying no tax i think someone is living in cloud cookoo land you must be a Tory brainwash

        • Chris lancashire

          Though not.

          • Hookeslaw

            What we see of course is how the only attack the socialists have is to attack the well off. Sneering ignorant class based politics. If you are well off you have no rights This is a sign of things to come from socialists.

            Never mind that for 13 years Brown saw fit to leave the 40p band unchanged – and sucked up to mega-rich bankers.

        • Chris lancashire

          I do apologise, my typing is atrocious. My response should, of course, have read “thought not”.

        • Hookeslaw

          You are a thick troll.
          You go to a tax advisor? ho ho… The 10k allowance was not for mthe well off it was for the poor – as CL said..

  • sophie

    This country needs to start looking after their own ASAP! We are struggling to make ends meet (UK as a whole), yet these cretins decide they can afford to pass a few million here and there to other countries who are facing hard times, whilst cutting back for the British public! They are clearly taking the P***

  • Ol Burgess

    It’s not said frequently but osborne comes across much less contrived in my view when giving speeches than cameron. No practised affectations or facial expressions, just candid delivery.

    • Hookeslaw

      its not said frequently because its a false observation

    • Ol Burgess

      in retrospect that accent was obviously an affectation but still…. the body language is much more natural!!

  • Chris lancashire

    Excellent speech from Osborne reaffirming the policies of aspiration.

    • Hookeslaw

      And there were ‘no questions over the figures’ this is yet another pathetic aside from a group of self interested hacks who cannot wait to attack the govt which invited them to sign up to the bare minimum of responsibility.
      If only the press were as careful with facts.

      The only thing wrong is that there should be about another 3 such speeches and they should all have been delivered yesterday. To be fair that was a bank holiday. Today is the first working dayi

    • Daniel Maris

      Aspiration is often the cause of death by drowning, I read in my medical dictionary. How appropriate.

      • Chris lancashire

        Wow, that’s really clever Daniel.

  • Ali Pentland

    Rah rah lie lie patronise..I you say something over and over it becomes the accepted truth.

  • ken. D

    Time to get them out now.. Tory Robbing bastards.

    • an ex-tory voter

      Unlike Blair and Mandelson

    • Hookeslaw

      Hilarious. Labour who robbed people of mortgage support and the support that made pensions viable. Robbed millions with abolishing 10p tax band – just to assist Gordon becoming PM
      You are a superb example to us all to show why we should vote Tory.

      Please post it again in capitals so even the dimmest cannot miss it.

    • Hookeslaw

      ‘If you live in private rented accommodation and receive Housing Benefit –
      these rules already apply – and have done for nearly 20 years.’

  • Lee Ditchburn

    this guy is deluded….Our government has given billions of pounds to other countries to bail them out over the last few years yet we are poor? Government basically said “Oh look we have the BANK OF ENGLAND lets print some off” Yet we are in the worst recession ever that the UK has encountered. If this country is so poor pump the billions that was made back into the our country, oh wait we’re not allowed!
    Benefits/Bedroom Tax :- People being forced to move to downsize yet there isnt any housing, relief or a sensible re-evaluation of this “Bedroom Tax” which is a pathetic excuse to hit the poorest of families where it hurts! Its wrong that my 8yr old daughter has to sleep in my bedroom, in my bed with me as i live in a 1 bed flat, i was offered a 2 bedroom property, but had no choice to refuse it due to this pathetic Bedroom Tax rubbish!.

    Ian Duncan Smith said himself £53per week is more than enough to live on, yet this leech in our Government doesnt realise that bills have to be paid. Question is Does he think our human rights are being abused? If this fool says “No” then the Mr Duncan Smith and the rest of the government needs to see that the underlying problem isnt the poor, as they are now even poorer but the “Fat Cats!” that benefit from their tax reduction!

    Further more if immigration policies were sewn up with their loopholes, we wouldnt have thousands of illegal immigrants in this country claiming benefits. If they are here legally and are in employment then thats fine!.

    Who’s fault is all the above, not me, not you the problem is the government, a reshuffle, re-election should be forced before riots happen, before anymore suicide’s occur due to other peoples mess ups and lies!..

    • Hookeslaw

      We have given guarantees. The funds involved with the IMF do not even count as debt.
      Labour left a deficit of 160 billion and a note to say there is no money left.
      You lie about what IDS said.

      • Lee Ditchburn

        If u have u cared to google the comment you would plainly see this fool claiming his statement. However i dont think you have…

  • Russell

    “marginally different emphasis on Labour’s role in our difficulties.” The key word being marginal! this didn’t mar anything at all apart from in the feeble minds of journalists who want anything to say. One of Osbornes best public performances (in fact the only public performance to a wide political interest audience I have seen him deliver).
    He certainly nailed the labour lying spin machine of Byrne, Balls etc. which badly needed to be done as both BBC and Sky have adopted a war footing almost with the government of late.

    • UlyssesReturns

      I think, looking at some of the gormless comments here, there is most assuredly a causal link between illiteracy, welfare dependency and labour voting. Brown knew what he was doing by feeding this lot and the various labour education secretaries working hand-in-hand with the teachers unions by stunting their development. Social(ist) engineering at its best what?

      • Hookeslaw

        ‘causal link between illiteracy, welfare dependency and labour voting.’ – you have only just noticed?
        Never mind you will by by your own efforts be doing your best to get them re-elected in 2015.

      • dalai guevara

        Thanks for that – I have a little something you might not enjoy, many others will.

    • Makroon

      But those who need to know, won’t read, nor hear it.

  • Archimedes

    Good stuff, but Osborne has a very tainted reputation and he’s going to have to keep driving the same message home to overcome that. He has the luxury of being joined to Cameron at the hip, so he has a lot more political flexibility than most chancellors would have.

    • telemachus

      As you well know, even if what he said made sense he delivers a chilling message to the poor from his position of a millionaire bank account
      He is delivering the message delivered by millionaire IDS who as Humphrys fought out yesterday and trumpeted this am cal live on £7 a day
      Further bith seem excessively pleased with themselves like Hunt

      • an ex-tory voter

        But not as pleased with themselves as Blair, Mandelson and Milliband!

        • Chris lancashire

          I think you meant the millionaires, Blair, Mandelson and Miliband?

      • Hookeslaw

        Your claim is untrue (big surprise there). The caller making the claim admitted for instance that he had all his housing costs paid.

      • Hookeslaw

        ‘When I took this job, I discovered there were some people who got £100,000 a year in Housing Benefit.’

        Bravo Blair bravo Brown bravo Darling.

    • dalai guevara

      Why is it that ‘they are joined at the hip’?
      Last attempts of wishful thinking in otherwise dire times?

      • Archimedes

        No. They’re joined at the hip because they watched the way that the Gordo-Blair rivalry ripped apart the Labour government, and wanted to avoid it.

        What is it that you think would be so appealing about a Prime Minister and a Chancellor at war with each other, particularly given the circumstances?

        • dalai guevara

          then fall Ceasar

          • Archimedes

            And Brutus is an honourable man.

      • Archimedes

        “Archimedes will know how polycephaly was addressed in Greek mythodology.”

        What Archimedes will and will not know is not for you to pontificate.

  • Right_On1

    Don’t look now, but I think I detected the slightest hint of a backbone, wonder how long that’ll last….