Ex-PMs Gordon Brown & John Major condemn Osborne’s attacks on welfare

Former Labour Prime Minister Gordon Brown has blasted Chancellor George Osborne’s plan to cut tax credits for low income families, saying they will push millions of children into poverty. Ex-Tory PM John Major called the impact of inequality “shocking.”

Brown, who was architect of the tax credits, wrote an op-ed for the Daily Mirror on Wednesday in which he said Britain would soon have some of the highest poverty rates in the Western world because of the Conservatives’ policies.

The former Labour PM introduced tax credits as chancellor in 2003, but Osborne has bet his political career on drastically reducing them as part of a wider clamp down on welfare spending.

In a separate, more subtle attack on Tory austerity, ex-Conservative Prime Minister John Major warned on Wednesday that the impact of inequality in Britain is “shocking.”

Osborne has come under fire from both right-wing and left-wing critics as a result of his plans to cut £4.4 billion from the tax credits system as part of a wider measure to slash welfare payments by £12 billion.

If implemented, the reforms will make a low-earning single parent £1,000 a year worse off and a low-earning couple with two children £850 a year worse off, according to the Resolution Foundation.
Brown called the cuts “frightening.”

Everything Britain stands for — hard work, independence of spirit, savings and compassion for children — is [all] about to be undermined by George Osborne’s tax credit cuts that will plunge almost another million families into poverty.

When the number of British girls and boys in poverty is now projected to rocket from 2.3 million two years ago to 3.9 million by 2020 and reach a level far in excess of any other time during the past 50 years, you could be forgiven for asking: Why take it out on the children?

The former Labour PM went on to say most of Britain’s poor are working families, who even after “laboring all hours” cannot get by.

Now Britain is about to have one of the biggest poverty problems in the Western world and it is government-induced poverty stemming from the Conservatives,” he said.

In a rare example of two former prime ministers from opposing parties criticizing the government, both Brown and Major accused Osborne of basing his reforms on the “wrong assumption” that poor people are lazy.

The reforms arise from wrong assumptions — that we have a Britain divided between strivers and skivers. They are founded on wrong claims — that the majority of our poor are work-shy and live in chaotic families,” Brown wrote in the Daily Mirror.

Via RT.