£25bn welfare cuts? Hilton’s plan is absolute nonsense

Even The Sun, the ultimate scrounger bashers, thinks Steve Hilton’s latest idea is “daft”, writes Richard Darlington, head of news at the IPPR.

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Richard Darlington is head of news at the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR)

Even The Sun, the ultimate scrounger bashers, thinks Steve Hilton’s latest idea is “daft”.

On page 2 today they quote a source close to Iain Duncan Smith saying the idea to cut another £25bn from the welfare bill is “absolute nonsense”, adding:

“Steve’s gone totally rogue.”

Lib Dem peer Lord Oakeshott says:

“This is wacky even by Hilton’s standards.”

But let’s take a moment to test the hypothesis. If you really did want to get £25bn cut from the welfare bill, how would you actually do it? Try and do-it-yourself.

Here are your options:



See also:

Breaking down the benefits bill 21 Mar 2012


Even if you entirely scrapped all out of work benefits – jobseeker’s allowance, plus income support and ESA – you’d come up £4bn short. You’d have to almost halve the state pension – not really a vote winner. Or you could entirely scrap Child Tax Credit and Child Benefit or Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit.

Like The Sun says, daft. Bye, bye Steve.


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41 Responses to “£25bn welfare cuts? Hilton’s plan is absolute nonsense”

  1. Gawain Golightly

    Sure, I would abolish all State benefits and give every adult a social wage of £250 per week. I’d abolish National Insurance, and put income tax on all earned and unearned income at 50%. This would cost a fair amount, but raise a lot more and also liberate millions from the poverty/benefits trap of means testing, and free up at least a million civil servants and professional welfare rights advisers from meaningless paper-shuffling employment, free to take up a useful job for a change.

  2. Eric Greenwood

    Other, £6 Billion for what??? Working tax credit £8 Billion, Child Tax Credit £19 Billion… there you go.. what did people do before working tax credit, and child tax credit..

  3. Richard Darlington

    that would mean working parents would be better off on unemployment benefit than in low paid work

  4. Anonymous

    Many people would have had full time jobs that paid a living wage at a time when housing could be found at a reasonable cost. Much of that has gone now, buying a home is way out of most peoples reach, there’s very little in the way of council/social housing, whole industry sectors have been closed down and those companies that do employ large numbers of relatively low skilled workers pay low salaries that are then subsidised by the State. Quite why we couldn’t subsidise investment in manufacturing and keep more highly skilled and highly paid jobs is another question, a question definitely worth asking!

  5. Tony

    Didn’t he get done for fare dodging?

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