Cameron: ‘We’ve capped welfare but we need to go further’
Published by 24publishing for 24dash.com in Housing and also in Central Government, Communities, Local Government
Cameron: Housing benefit got 'completely out of control' under Labour
The prime minister says the Government will look to go further in its assault on the welfare bill before the next general election.
Speaking on the Andrew Marr show ahead of the Conservative Party conference in Birmingham, David Cameron said the Government needed to find £16bn of spending reductions by 2015/16.
He said that if the country wanted to avoid cuts to public services such as hospitals and schools, “we have to look at things like the welfare budget”.
He said the country was still spending £80bn on working-age welfare.
Asked if he was planning another squeeze on welfare before the next general election, he said: “We are looking today at what we can do to make sure welfare is actually helping people into work. When we came in there were some families getting £30,000 £40,000 £50,000, £60,000 of housing benefit per family. Now, we’ve stopped that. We’ve stopped that in the teeth of opposition from Labour. We’ve capped welfare but we need to go further.”
He said the Government would make sure the rich pay their fair share and the burden in cutting the deficit is “properly shared”.
He said the richest 10% in the country are not only paying more in income tax, but they are paying a greater percentage of the total income tax take than they ever did under Labour.
He said the Government had been fair in taking away child benefit from higher earners, controlling tax credits and putting a stop to housing benefit bills going up and up and up, adding: “further steps need to be taken”.
In a nod to a speech he gave back in June around scrapping the automatic right for under 25s to claim housing benefit, he said: “We do need to look at the choices we make in this country. Take young people. You leave school, go to college, work hard, get a job – you don’t have any chance of having housing benefit, you’re probably living at home with mum and dad often into your 30s. If you take a different path, you don’t go to college, sign on, get housing benefit, get a flat. Then of course, if you take a job you probably lose the housing benefit and the flat, so I think we’ve got to look at the signals we send.”