• Text size      
  • Send this article to a friend
  • Print this article

Labour defend voting for cap on welfare

Labour said that a cap on the overall welfare bill was "the right thing to do" last night despite a rebellion by more than a dozen of its own MPs.

The party voted with the Tory-Lib Dem Coalition to introduce a limit on total welfare spending.

The SNP and 13 Labour MPs voted against the move.

Former Labour leadership contender Diane Abbott condemned both the UK Government and her own Labour leadership for "short term political positioning" with the cap, which will set the overall welfare bill at £119.5 billion in 2015/16.

The Conservatives sprung the vote on Labour in last week's Budget.

Tory sources suggested that it was a "trap" which would show, if Labour voted against, just how profligate the opposition would be if returned to office in 2015.

Labour believe that they have successfully avoided that charge, and pointed out the rebellion was smaller than originally suggested.

Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls told MPs that the cap was not a "trap, it is the right thing to do".

Earlier the Chancellor George Osborne said the move was about "building a welfare system that is fair to those who need the system and fair to people who pay for the welfare system".

But in her speech, Ms Abbott said: "This is not a game, this is about people's lives."

Contextual targeting label: 
Local government

Commenting & Moderation

We moderate all comments on HeraldScotland on either a pre-moderated or post-moderated basis.
If you're a relatively new user then your comments will be reviewed before publication and if we know you well and trust you then your comments will be subject to moderation only if other users or the moderators believe you've broken the rules

Moderation is undertaken full-time 9am-6pm on weekdays, and on a part-time basis outwith those hours. Please be patient if your posts are not approved instantly.