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Osborne: Welfare cuts 'a price that works for our country'

Deeper welfare cuts are "a price that works" to restore the UK economy and create more jobs, George Osborne insisted in the latest salvo of a public spat between the coalition government parties over spending plans.

The Chancellor hit back after his Liberal Democrat deputy at the Treasury Danny Alexander claimed the Tories would "inflict unnecessary pain" on the country by shrinking the state.

Speaking to BBC News, Mr Osborne said:

We are going to have to make savings... we are going to have to cut certain welfare bills like benefits that go to working-age people. But the prize is economic stability, growth, jobs in the future, brighter future, I think that's a price that works for our country.

– George Osborne


Danny Alexander wades into coalition row

Danny Alexander has accused the Conservative Party of "pandering to Ukip" in a pre-election "panic" as the coalition colleagues continue to trade blows.

Danny Alexander has accused the Conservative Party of 'pandering to Ukip' Credit: PA

The Chief Secretary to the Treasury claimed the Tories would "inflict unnecessary pain" on the country because they were "ideologically committed" to shrinking the state and had a policy of "austerity forever".

In an article for The Daily Telegraph, he wrote: "It is sad to see the Conservatives move away from the sensible, balanced approach of the coalition, to a more doctrinaire policy that would inflict unnecessary pain on the people of Britain."

Cameron and Clegg clash over economy

David Cameron has accused the Liberal Democrats of being "all over the place" in their economic plan, in the latest coalition division following George Osborne's Autumn Statement last week.

David Cameron and Nick Clegg Credit: PA

The Chancellor said yesterday that his Liberal Democrat colleagues would cause "economic chaos" if they came to power and today the Prime Minister emailed his party hailing a "distinctively Conservative Autumn Statement."

"The Liberal Democrats are all over the place, unable to decide whether they want to stick to the plan or veer off it," Mr Cameron wrote. "And they - like Ukip - would be prepared to prop up a failing Labour Government.

"In contrast, the Conservatives offer a long-term economic plan that is working."

Clegg: Tories of 'kidding themselves' on the economy

Nick Clegg has accused the Conservatives of "kidding themselves" on the economy.

The Deputy Prime Minister told the BBC's Andrew Marr Show that he disagreed with his coalition partner's outlook on the economy, saying their plans were "impossible."

Deputy Nick Clegg responds to Chancellor George Osborne's attack. Credit: BBC/The Andrew Marr Show

"I just think the Conservatives are kidding themselves and seeking to kid British voters if they are claiming that it is possible to balance the books, deliver unfunded tax cuts, shrink the state and support public services," Clegg said.

"It just doesn't add up," he said following George Osborne's scathing attack on the Lib Dems.


Cameron: Devolution report shows we are keeping our promise

The Prime Minister has welcomed the Smith report on Scottish devolution and pledged to bring forward proposals on English votes for English laws before Christmas.

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