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Workers hit hardest by tory attack on welfare

Low-paid families suffer most from Con-Dem benefits assault - not so-called scroungers

Hard-pressed workers already struggling in low-paid jobs will be worst hit by the Con-Dems' brutal benefit cuts, the TUC warned yesterday.

Of 43 welfare changes made since 2010, 34 battered working people - including cuts to child tax credits, housing benefit and disability benefit.

"For all the government's rhetoric about targeting scroungers, the truth is that welfare cuts are hurting low-paid working families more than anyone else," stormed TUC general secretary Frances O'Grady.

"Far from making work pay, cruel cuts in social security are making work pay less for Britain's low-income families.

"The government thinks that its tough rhetoric on welfare is a vote-winner, but as more people learn that the changes are hurting hard-working people that support will fall away."

Also ratcheting up the pain were the hated bedroom tax, a freeze in child benefit and the scrapping of the saving gateway scheme introduced by Labour.

Ms O'Grady said that what Britain really needed was not cuts but a proper safety net for those who have fallen ill, been injured or lost a job through no fault of their own.

"We also need welfare reforms that support people back into a proper job, rather than punishing them if they can only find low-paid work or need to pay for childcare."

A government spokesman claimed that the vicious attack on working people was "fixing the broken welfare system and restoring fairness to benefits.

"We're ensuring people are better off in work than on benefits."

Meanwhile Labour leader Ed Miliband vowed to crack down on rogue bosses exploiting agency workers if the party wins the next election.

Agency staff are paid up to £135 a week less than permanent staff despite working in the same place and doing the same job due to a loophole in the Agency Workers' Directive.

He also repeated pledges to impose higher fines on firms that fail to pay the minimum wage, ban recruitment agencies from hiring only from abroad and force large firms hiring skilled workers from outside the EU to take on an apprentice at the same time.

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