No more cuts to welfare budget planned, Damian Green says


Theresa May's Government will not cut benefits any further than already planned, the Work and Pensions Secretary has confirmed.

Damian Green suggested austerity was over but said the Government had to stick by already planned cuts to balance the public finances.

Mr Green's announcement marks a continuation of his predecessor Stephen Crabb's approach of not ordering fresh raids on the welfare budget despite a  £4 billion black hole in the Budget left by the decision to abandon planned cuts to disability benefits.

The Work and Pensions Secretary told BBC One's Andrew Marr Show: "The commitment that the Prime Minister has made since she took office has been that obviously we will meet the previous commitments we've made.

"But there will be no new search for cuts in individual welfare benefits.

"You're right that the period of austerity meant that tough decisions had to be taken across the board, not just in the welfare system.

"There are things that have been announced that haven't yet been introduced but people know that they are coming."

Mr Green said his appointment would mark a "change in tone" from Iain Duncan Smith, who held the job from 2010 to 2016.

He accepted the Government needs to eventually look at the issue of intergenerational fairness but distanced himself from suggestions ministers may cut pensions.