Cruddas calls for Labour spending plans
Jon Cruddas has warned Labour that opposing Government cuts won't help the party connect with voters unless it comes up with its own alternative plans.
In a keynote speech tonight, the party's policy chief said: "Simply opposing the cuts without an alternative is no good. It fails to offer reasonable hope. The stakes are high because when hope is not reasonable despair becomes real."
At Prime Minister's Questions earlier today Ed Miliband and David Cameron clashed over the so-called “bedroom tax” with the Labour leader claiming the policy is unfair and unworkable.
Under the controversial plans, those living in social housing who are deemed to have a spare bedroom will be asked to downsize or face a cut in benefits from April.
Mr Miliband seized on the issue at Prime Minister’s Questions today, claiming that disabled people would be hardest hit. Reading out an email from disabled person, he said: “Why is it fair for him and hundreds of thousands of other disabled people like him to be hit by the bedroom tax?”
He added: “The policy isn't just unfair, it's not going to work either. In Hull 4,700 people are going to be hit by the bedroom tax and there are just 73 council properties for them to move to.”
>A number of Labour backbenchers also raised the subject, but the Prime Minister insisted the measure was “not a tax, this is a benefit” and that there was a £50m fund to deal with difficult cases.
He added: “If you are in private rented housing and receive no housing benefit, you don't get money for an extra money... There's a basic argument of fairness. Why should we be doing more for people on social housing on benefit, rather than people in private housing on benefit?”