Responding to claims that the Treasury and DWP have agreed major benefit reform, Yvette Cooper MP, Labour's Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary, said:
“When we looked at similar proposals a year ago we were advised this would either cost billions of pounds or mean big cuts in support for lots of low income families. Ministers need to tell us which it is and where the money is coming from.
“We support going further on benefit reform – but it must be done in a sensible way to help people into work and keep people out of poverty. If the Treasury has agreed to find extra money that would be welcome. But it contradicts what George Osborne said last month about even bigger cuts. So far all they have done in practice is cut child tax credit, cut housing support for vulnerable pensioners, and reduce incentives and help to work.
“Labour introduced tax credits and the Future Jobs Fund to support work and make work pay. But so far the government is cutting support for jobs and the unemployed. Welfare to work won’t work if there are no jobs for people to go to.”