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Labour plans to cut £780 of benefits from the least well off in Newcastle East

August 27, 2009 11:30 PM

Lib Dem parliamentary spokesman Greg Stone has condemned Gordon Brown's plan to axe £15 a week from the housing benefit of the least well off in Newcastle East - up to a fifth of the income of the some of the poorest people in the constituency.

Lib Dem MPs have discovered clauses in the small print of the Budget which mean that the Labour Government plans to cut the benefit of 300,000 people who currently receive housing benefit. Newcastle's Labour MPs voted in favour of the move.

Housing charities have joined in the attack on this regressive and dangerous move. Crisis estimates that those on jobseekers allowance will lose up to 20% of their income when the plans are introduced in April, and have urged the Government to reconsider, commenting that "is ill considered and potentially counterproductive. It beggars belief that the Government intends to introduce this when, by its own admission, it has no idea what the impact on claimants will be."

Greg Stone said "This is an absolutely staggering Labour attack on the least well off and most vulnerable in society, coming on top of the disastrous axing of the 10p tax rate which cut the incomes of the least well off to pay for tax cuts to the rich. The only conclusion it is possible to reach is that Labour no longer gives a damn about the poor and the vulnerable. It is time for this callous and incompetent Government to go."