Spending Review: Wait for benefits could backfire, warns Tory ally

Bright Blue, a think-tank which supports David Cameron’s drive to rid the Conservatives of their 'nasty party' image, warns Government’s latest crackdown could damage party

Conservative modernisers have attacked George Osborne’s controversial decision to make the unemployed wait for seven days before they can claim benefits.

Bright Blue, a think-tank which supports David Cameron’s drive to rid the Conservatives of their “nasty party” image, warned that the Government’s latest crackdown could damage the party.

Ryan Shorthouse, Bright Blue director, said: “The continuous clampdown on benefits by the Conservatives could eventually backfire. There may come a tipping point when voters become suspicious of why the Tories keep targeting unemployment support, especially when bigger savings can be found from ending unnecessary benefits to wealthier pensioners such as free TV licences and winter fuel payments.”

Mr Shorthouse added: “Reducing the amount of benefits people receive when they first lose their job seems particularly unkind, especially when under the new universal credit some claimants may have to wait a month before eventually getting their benefits. A compassionate Conservative Party should be supporting those facing difficult circumstances, especially when we know the overwhelming majority are trying hard to better the situation for themselves and their families.”

His views are understood to be shared privately by some Tory MPs, who oppose what Labour has called the Chancellor’s divisive “scroungers vs strivers” agenda.

As The Independent revealed, charities have warned that the seven-day wait for jobseeker’s allowance will force some unemployed people to turn to payday lenders or food banks.

Today Mr Osborne denied that the £11.5bn cuts had been “loaded on the poor”. He defended the seven-day rule, saying the £260m-a-year saving would be ploughed back into jobcentres to help people into work.

“There are lots of other countries in the world – compassionate countries – who do this. What I’m saying is that the first thing that happens is you should be looking to get yourself back to work of course; not the first thing you should do is go to the jobcentre and sign on,” he said.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
2015 General Election
May2015

Poll of Polls

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Duty Manager

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Duty Manager is required to join one of the ...

Recruitment Genius: Team Leader

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Team Leader is required to join one of the l...

Recruitment Genius: Chef

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Chef is required to join one of the largest ...

Recruitment Genius: Customer Service Assistant

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Customer Service Assistant is required to jo...

Day In a Page

No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor