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  1. ITV Report

Osborne accuses welfare reform critics of talking 'ill-informed rubbish'

Chancellor George Osborne has hit back at critics of the Government's welfare reforms. Photo: Stefan Wermuth/PA Wire

George Osborne has accused the Government's welfare reform critics of talking "ill-informed rubbish."

The Chancellor, who has faced growing pressure from churches, charities and opposition parties, said suggestions the changes marked the end of the welfare state were "shrill, headline-seeking nonsense".

ITV News Political Correspondent Libby Wiener reports:

Mr Osborne warned his critics that they were "out of touch" with ordinary families whose taxes paid for the benefits system.

Speaking at a supermarket distribution centre in Kent, the Chancellor added that he was "proud" the Government were injecting "common sense" into the system.

Mr Osborne later tweeted:

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.

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.

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.

– Chancellor George Osborne

The Chancellor also criticised those with "vested interests" who complained with "depressingly predictable outrage" about every change that was made to the system.

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 any more.

– Chancellor George Osborne

Shadow chancellor Ed Balls said the average family was now £891-a-year worse off as a result of the changes made by the coalition since 2010.

The benefits bill is rising under this Government because our economy is flatlining, inflation is rising and unemployment is high.

The best way to get the benefits bill down is to get our economy growing strongly and get people back to work.

– Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls

Anne Marie Carrie, of the children's charity, Barnardo's, appealed to ministers to re-think the cap on benefit increases.

If the Government is to meet its legal duty to eradicate child poverty by 2020, it must review the cap on benefits increases and act now to support those families struggling to provide for their children by helping them to afford to work and manage the rising costs of living.

– Anne Marie Carrie, Barnardo's

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