The Chancellor announced three welfare reforms in his Spending Review that he said would save £350 million a year:
- A new Welfare Cap to control the overall costs of the benefits bill (previously it fell under Annually Managed Expenditure). Housing benefit, tax credits, disability benefits, and pensioner benefits will all be included, but the State Pension will not.
- Linking the Winter Fuel Payment to a temperature test
- Changes to jobseeker's allowance making it dependent on people proving that they are looking for work, willing to learn English if they do not speak it already, and attending the job centre every week.
Shadow financial secretary to the Treasury Chris Leslie writes for ITV News in response to the Chancellor's Spending Review.
While the Conservatives and Lib Dem strategies are clear enough, Labour's response to government cuts is not yet obvious.
By excluding pensions and the benefits associated with the economic cycle, Osborne has put an automatic cap on a narrow range of benefits.