7th APRIL 2015 - Vol.XXXVIII No.018
Business News

UK welfare cuts may rise

LONDON: Britain's coalition government cannot rule out extra welfare cuts of more than £4 billion ($6.25bn) on top of those announced in June, Deputy Finance Minister Danny Alexander said yesterday.

Uncertainty has surrounded the size of the cuts since Conservative Finance Minister George Osborne said they would be greater than the £11bn announced in June's budget.

But his cabinet colleague responsible for welfare said later that he did not recognise a £4bn figure for the extra cuts reported in the media.

Alexander told the Scotsman that the government needed to scrutinise welfare payments. Asked if he recognised the £4bn figure, he said: "I think I wouldn't want to say it was going to be limited to that amount. We haven't decided on a number yet." The Liberal Democrat was speaking before an annual conference of the junior coalition party.

Uncertainty arose last week when Osborne told the BBC that welfare cuts to be set out next month "will amount to several billion pounds additional to what I announced in the budget".

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