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PM defends benefit changes

Prime Minister David Cameron has issued a staunch defence of the Coalition's controversial benefits shake-up, saying the reforms are "putting fairness back at the heart of Britain".

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Labour attack 'heartless' and 'hopeless' benefit changes

Shadow work and pensions secretary Liam Byrne has accused George Osborne and David Cameron of playing "divide and rule" with attacks on people who claim benefits.

"The truth is that, for all their rhetoric about making work pay or supporting strivers, it is working families and those in real need who are footing the bill for the government's catastrophic economic failure," Mr Byrne said in an article in The Observer.

He went on to write:

The government's supposed reforms are not only heartless, but also hopeless. Housing benefit changes cost more than they save, tax credit changes are making families better off on benefits, the work programme has become all programme and no work, and universal credit is descending into universal chaos. Our "one nation" approach to reforming social security is very different. Instead of seeking to divide people, we want to ensure everyone plays their part so we can rebuild Britain together.

– Liam Byrne

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