Osborne shields state pension from £4.4bn cuts

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The Chancellor says the “generous” state pension will be shielded from an extra £4.4bn of cuts needed by the Government.

The Daily Mail reports George Osborne both defended his record on private pensions and protected the future of the state pension in the Commons yesterday.

Osborne said: “Let me just say this about benefits to pensioners because it’s been raised – in the same breath, some people say to me we’re not saving enough from pensioners but at the same time complaining about everything from long-term increases in the state pension age to keep pace with rising life expectancy, to restrictions on the lifetime allowances for the largest pension pots.

“‘The truth is that we have made substantial savings from pensioner welfare – half a trillion pounds of savings.

“‘They are vital to the long-term sustainability of our public finances but we’ve made these savings in a way that enables us to go on giving people who have worked hard all their lives a decent, generous basic state pension that we committed to in our manifesto, and I am not going to take that away from people.”

Osborne also said he had no plans to make more welfare cuts.

He said: “By not proceeding with the personal independence payment changes it means spending on disabled people will be just over £1bn a year higher by the end of the decade than was set out in the Budget.

“This will be an important factor but only one of many that will affect the overall forecast for welfare that the Office for Budget Responsibility will make in the autumn and at that point we will assess the level of the cap, and what [Work and Pensions Secretary Stephen Crabb] said yesterday, with my full support, is we don’t have further plans to make welfare savings to replace the billion pounds more we will spend on PIP.”