The Green Party has slammed the Conservatives for waging “war on welfare”, describing planned £12bn in welfare cuts as “kicking people when they are down”.
Green Party Work and Pensions spokesperson, Jonathan Bartley, said the Tories are threatening the future existence of the welfare state and criticised controversial benefit sanctions for making it “harder, not easier, to find a job”.
Mr Bartley added that David Cameron’s hint of an assault on tax credits “would take away a crucial lifeline which enables many people to stay in work”.
Responding to David Cameron’s speech on welfare earlier today, Mr Bartley said: “The Conservative war on welfare is incoherent, misguided and based on ideology rather than reality.
“Welfare is an investment which helps people to build a decent life, not something that ‘papers over the cracks with a veneer of fairness’.
“The social security of millions is being threatened in a way we haven’t seen since the modern welfare state was set up.
“The best way to help people into work is to support them, not kick them when they are down.
“Conservative sanctions are creating barriers and making it harder, not easier, to find a job. These sanctions should be scrapped, not extended to those claiming tax credits.
“Cutting tax credits would take away a crucial lifeline which enables many people to stay in work, while the shambolic new Universal Credit system also has an in-built disincentive to work. For every £100 someone on Universal Credit earns, £65 of support is lost.
“If the government wants to make work pay it should make the minimum wage a Living Wage. Not only would this save £2.4bn in tax credits, it would also raise £1.5bn in tax revenues.”