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Can the Tories get any worse?

Brutal Osborne hits us with £25,000,000,000 more cuts

Chancellor George Osborne launched the most vicious assault yet on public services and welfare yesterday in his crusade to build a paradise for speculators and bankers.

He announced devastating extra cuts of £25 billion after 2015, including further welfare cuts of £12bn.

The year 2014 would be "a year of hard truths," he warned.

Leading left MP Dennis Skinner retorted: "It will not be hard truths for people like Mr Osborne and the rest of them on millionaires' row.

"Osborne is busy lining the pockets of the people at the top of the pile."

Mr Skinner urged the labour movement to mount a "tooth and nail" struggle against the Chancellor's vicious cuts.

Luton North MP Kelvin Hopkins denounced Mr Osborne as "incompetent as well as cynical and heartless."

Additional benefit cuts would simply drive millions of people deeper into poverty and misery, while doing nothing to improve the economy, he warned.

Ominously, Labour shadow chancellor Ed Balls declared yesterday that Mr Osborne's economic failures would mean that a Labour government would "have to make cuts."

Mr Balls added that a Labour government would "get the deficit down in a fair way."

In his Birmingham speech, Mr Osborne repeatedly claimed that his so-called economic "plan" was working - but then added: "The bad news is there's still a long way to go."

He warned that the job of "repairing" public finances would take many more years.

Arrogantly assuming that the Tories would win the next election, he said an extra £25bn would be axed over two years after 2015, in addition to £17bn cuts this year and £20bn next year.

"Government is going to have to be permantly smaller and so too is our welfare system," he warned.

"There is no point in pretending that there is some magic wand that the Chancellor can wave to make the whole country feel richer than it actually is," he added.

Mr Osborne gave few details of his new rampage, but he specifically mentioned an attack on housing benefit for people aged under 25.

He also mentioned restrictions on council housing initially for people earning over £65,000 a year, raising fears of a new wide-ranging onslaught on council tenants.

Government spokesmen sent out confused messages about similar threats to attack universal pensioner benefits by ending free bus passes and winter fuel allowance for "wealthy" pensioners.

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg confirmed that axing universal benefits for well-off pensioners would be in the Lib Dem election manifesto.

Communist Party general secretary Rob Griffiths urged Labour leader Ed Miliband to "put some clear red water between the Labour Party and the Tories and Lib Dems."

Mr Griffiths urged taxes on the rich and big business, plus public ownership of energy and public transport.

Unite general secretary Len McCluskey accused Mr Osborne of "continuing an unprecedented ideological attack on the state, with Britain's young people in the front line."

General union GMB general secretary Paul Kenny demanded that big corporations must be made to pay their fair share of tax, bringing in billions of extra income.

Public service union PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka said: "This vision of a run-down welfare state, where more families will be driven into poverty and made homeless, is a bleak start to 2014."


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