Nick Clegg defends 1% benefits cap

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has defended plans for a three-year benefits squeeze as he faced party dissent among his own MPs ahead of a key Commons vote.

In Commons clashes ahead of the debate - deputy Labour leader Harriet Harman said the Government had "failed on compassion".

But Mr Clegg questioned why the Opposition supported a 1% pay rise cap for public sector workers but not the curb on benefit payments and where it would find the savings.

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MPs vote for 1% benefits cap

MPs have voted in favour of a proposed 1 per cent cap on raising benefits by a majority of 56. Ministers say the cap is needed because it is unfair that state handouts have been rising twice as fast as wages during recent years of austerity.