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Osborne: Why are we subsidising lifestyles like Philpott's?

Chancellor George Osborne. Credit: PA Wire

Chancellor George Osborne has questioned why the taxpayer should pay for benefit "lifestyles" such as those of child killer Mick Philpott.

When asked on a visit to Derby if the Philpotts were a product of Britain's benefit system, Mr Osborne said: "It's right we ask questions as a Government, a society and as taxpayers, why we are subsidising lifestyles like these. It does need to be handled."

He said Philpott "was responsible for horrendous crimes, crimes which have shocked the nation".

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National

IDS: 'This is about fairness in the system'

Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith has said that housing benefit changes that have been introduced today are about "fairness".

In response to criticisms of the so-called 'bedroom tax', he said: "The reality is this is about getting our housing benefit back into order".

"This is about fairness. It's about fairness to those who pay vast sums of money in taxation to see that people living in subsidised accommodation who often don't use the bedrooms they've got, while others in overcrowded accommodation.... they can't get the accommodation they need.

"This is a nonsense problem that was created by the last government who didn't build enough housing and didn't manage the housing stock properly".

Read: What is the 'bedroom tax'

National

Osborne: Economic case for HS2 'pretty compelling'

Chancellor George Osborne said HS2 will be an "engine for growth" in the North and Midlands, and will create tens of thousands of jobs.

He acknowledged that communities along its route would face a "very difficult" disruption to their lives, but said the economic benefits were "pretty compelling". He told BBC Breakfast:

I think it is the engine for growth in the North and the Midlands of this country. I think it is going to create tens of thousands of jobs in Manchester and across our great cities.

In the end, as a country, you have got to make those long-term choices. If our predecessors hadn't decided to build the railways in the Victorian times or the motorways in the middle part of the 20th century, then we wouldn't have those things today.

– Chancellor George Osborne

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Autumn Statement: Construction in West Midlands

Following today's Autumn Statement from the Chancellor, below is a list of the progress of construction and infrastructure schemes for the West Midlands:

Starting soon: Darlaston Access Improvement Scheme (2013) & Worcester Integrated Transport Project (2013).

Under construction: M6 J5-8 (expected to be completed in 2014) & Midland Metro Birmingham Extension (expected to be completed in 2015).

New funding announced: M6 J10A to 13 accelerated delivery pilot, M40 J12 works & Super-connected cities (Coventry).

Autumn Statement: Construction in East Midlands

Following today's Autumn Statement from the Chancellor, below is a list of the progress of construction and infrastructure schemes for the East Midlands:

Starting soon: Loughborough Road Improvements (early 2013) & London Road bridge, Derby (2013).

Under construction: Nottingham Tram Extension (opens 2014) & A43 Corby Link (due to be completed in 2014).

New funding announced: M1 J28 to 31 accelerated delivery pilot & Super-connected cities (Derby).

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