Osborne's £10bn benefits cut

The Government is to press ahead with plans to slash an extra £10 billion from the welfare budget by 2016-17, the Chancellor has said in his speech to the Conservative party conference.

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Could George Osborne have delivered the least glamorous speech of modern times?

The Chancellor George Osborne must cut a further £16 billion from the nation's deficit before the next election but there were few clues about how that gap would be filled in his speech today.

In particular, it is unclear how the Conservatives would tax the rich after ruling out the the so-called Mansion Tax favoured by the Liberal Democrats.

ITV News' Political Editor Tom Bradby reports from Birmingham:

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Families and the young could feel the pinch of more welfare cuts

The Chancellor George Osborne claimed today to be ending the "something for nothing culture" when he announced cuts worth £10 billion to the welfare system in his speech at the Tory conference today.

But for young people and families already feeling the pinch of cuts to their benefits, those words may sound hollow.

ITV News' Political Correspondent Romilly Weeks reports from Birmingham:

Louise Mench and Andrew Mitchell 'booed' at rally

There were reportedly boos and jeers at the Conservative Home rally when the former Conservative MP Louise Mensch and chief whip Andrew Mitchell appeared on a video screen before Boris Johnson's address.

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Former Archbishop compares treatment of anti-gay marriage campaigners to Jews in Nazi Germany

Lord Carey of Clifton, formerly Britain's Archbishop of Canterbury Credit: PA

The Former Archbishop of Canterbury Lord Carey appeared today to draw a parallel between persecuted Jews in Nazi Germany and anti-gay marriage campaigners.

Speaking at a Coalition for Marriage rally on the fringes of the Tory conference, he criticised pro-marriage campaigners for verbally abusing their opponents.

"Remember that the Jews in Nazi Germany, what started it against them was when they were called names, that was the first stage towards that totalitarian state," he said.

Lord Carey also suggested there was a "slippery slope" between permitting gay marriage and allowing a "Mormon-style [polygamous] relationship".

Small firms lobby group welcomes 'innovative' employee share proposal

The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has released a statement in support of George Osborne's employee share proposal that gives workers the opportunity to swap employment rights for company shares.

The Federation of Small Businesses welcomes this innovative policy from the Chancellor. We believe it will promote share ownership and loyalty to those companies which offer this initiative, with potential benefits following in terms of greater productivity. However, we suggest that the number of businesses who adopt the scheme may be small and we look forward to seeing the details.

– John Walker, National Chairman, FSB

Shelter: Cutting housing benefit to under-25s a 'huge blow'

The housing charity Shelter has responded to George Osborne's proposal to cut housing benefits to those under the age of 25.

The head of the charity, Campbell Robb, said it is wrong to use the age bracket as "shorthand for people who don’t have responsibilities or adult commitments".

  • Most under-25s who can live with their parents already do so
  • More than half of those who claim benefit already have a family of their own
  • Six in ten will be on benefits for less than six months while they look for work
  • Many will have been paying into the system through their years of employment

Mr Robb added: "Removing such a vital source of support will be a huge blow for young people struggling to set themselves up in life."

Osborne gives employees chance to 'trade job rights for shares'

Chancellor George Osborne has launched a scheme that allows workers to give up their employment rights in exchange for company shares.

The scheme will see "employee-owners" receive between £2,000 and £50,000 worth of shares, which would be exempt from Capital Gains Tax when they are eventually sold.

In exchange, employees would give up rights including:

  • The ability to claim unfair dismissal after two years in a job
  • The right to statutory redundancy payments
  • The statutory right to request flexible working or time to train
  • Giving eight weeks' notice of their intent to return from parental leave - this would be doubled to 16 weeks

The voluntary scheme, which will apply to any limited company, was backed by Liberal Democrat Business Secretary Vince Cable and his colleagues and is expected to come into force in April 2013.

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