Lib Dems make welfare cuts a red line – mostly

Nick Clegg has said that he would not enter coalition with the Conservative party again after May’s election if the party insists on introducing its proposed £12bn of social security cuts. [The Guardian]

Good, but not quite the full story. The Lib Dem manifesto costings I wrote-up yesterday include some curbs on welfare spending, particularly extending the 1% cap on increases in welfare benefits (excluding those for people with disabilities, which aren’t capped) for an extra year. I think these are just within the bounds of what’s reasonable and given the huge deficit still to sort a regrettable necessity. They’re also a huge world away from the Tory plans for £12bn of welfare cuts – and indeed even further away from Labour, who are promising to be even tougher on welfare than the Tories.


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