Budget 2016: Watch George Osborne stay stony-faced as he is told about the impact of his disability cuts

Life-long Tory and disability campaigner Graeme Ellis has quit the party in spectacular fashion

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Indy Politics

George Osborne has been appearing across broadcast media on Thursday morning to defend the missed targets and cuts made in his Budget, in particular the decision to slash £4.4 billion from disability benefit payments over the course of this Parliament.

Speaking to Sky News, the Chancellor defended his decisions against accusations that he was acting like “a back-to-front Robin Hood – taking from the poor to give to the rich”.

He largely stuck to his lines, extolling the benefits of his sugar tax on soft drinks and saying that the Government had been able to give away tax breaks “because we’ve got an economic plan”.

George Osborne presents the Budget on Wednesday

But he also looked uncomfortable as he was forced to listen to an earlier interview with a Conservative activist who shut down his disability support group yesterday because he was so disgusted by what his party was doing.

Mr Osborne remained stony-faced as he heard disability campaigner and life-long Tory Graeme Ellis say: “I was actually supporting a party that’s out to destroy disabled people’s lives.

“People have committed suicide over benefit decisions, and it’s frightening because it’s going to get worse.”

Sky presenter Sarah-Jane Mee asked the Chancellor if he would admit his cuts were “ruining people’s lives”.

Mr Osborne said: “Well what I would say is… we are increasing… increasing the amount of money going to disabled people.

“These decisions, announced last week, and you can see the numbers in the Budget, these decisions are increasing the support given to disabled people.”

The Chancellor insisted the Government was spending more in total on disability benefit in each year of this Parliament, saying an “independent report” had recommended diverted money from hundreds of thousands of people who struggle with more minor disabilities to “the people who need it most”.

“We can do that only because we’ve got an economic plan that enables us to have great public services… and deliver the support that the most vulnerable in our society need,” he said.