Osborne plan 'will cut inflation-linked benefits'
George Osborne plans to slice £1bn off the welfare bill by altering a long-standing procedure under which benefits are raised each year in line with September's inflation rate.
Inflation hit 5.2 per cent in September, and although it is expected to fall back rapidly, if the Chancellor follows convention it is the rate which should be used to set next year's benefit levels. Instead, he is looking at limiting the upgrade to the average inflation rate over the six months to September, which was 4.5 per cent. At a time when most private and public-sector pay rises are averaging well below 5 per cent, such a move would politically unpopular.
The savings, which would see disability benefit, carer's allowance, income support and jobseeker's allowance cut by about £50 to £100 a year, could be used to halt a planned 3p-a-litre rise in petrol duty.
Mr Osborne will announce the 2012-13 uprating, to come into effect next April, when he makes his autumn statement to Parliament on 29 November. The Treasury refused to comment but the TUC leader, Brendan Barber, attacked the proposal.
Much-loved cartoon character returns - without Sir David Jason
Liam Neeson's Downton dreams
Matt Smith is set to join cast of the Jane Austen classic - with a twist
Actress to appear in second series of the hugely popular crime drama
Olympic diver has made his modelling debut for Adidas
- 2 Scottish independence: Learn from Quebec's mistakes and beware of promises. Vote Yes.
- 3 'Necrophilia-obsessed' girl among double murder accused in three-way sex case
- 4 A bottle of wine a day is not bad for you and abstaining is worse than drinking, scientist claims
Thailand beach murders: Thai PM suggests 'attractive' female tourists cannot expect to be safe wearing bikinis
Scottish independence: Final opinion polls show undecided voters could swing result either way
Isis release 'Flames of War' video warning Obama of attacks troops could face in Iraq
Jennifer Lawrence 'naked sex video' will be leaked next, threatens 4Chan celebrity photo hacker
Hitler’s former food taster reveals the horrors of the Wolf’s Lair
Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
Scottish independence referendum: A nation divided against itself
The political class is doing what Hitler couldn’t – destroying Britain
Scottish independence: Nationalist leader Jim Sillars threatens pro-union companies with 'day of reckoning' after independence
Portuguese academic says British are 'filthy, violent and drunk'
Scottish independence: David Cameron is becoming the 'George Bush of Britain'
£30000 - £35000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...
£40000 - £50000 Per Annum + excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Lt...
£1036224 - £1513056 per annum: Randstad Education Cambridge: Randstad Educatio...
£21552 - £31588 per annum: Randstad Education Cambridge: Are you a fully quali...