THE Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, hit out at
opponents of welfare reform this week, saying that they had fallen
into "the lazy habit of opposition", writes Ed
Mr Osborne was criticised by church groups, among others, last
week for welfare changes which begin to take effect this month (News, 5 April).
Speaking on BBC Radio 5 Live, on Sunday, he said that there was "a
set of professional pressure-groups who exist for the purpose of
defending every line item either of the entire benefits system or a
particular benefit". Such groups simply defended the "status quo",
and did not offer an alternative course.
Mr Osborne continued: "What you get with some of these pressure
groups is they fall into a lazy habit of opposition."
Mr Osborne did not respond directly when asked whether his
criticisms were aimed at charities and churches.
Speaking on Sunday on Radio 4, the Convener of the
Church and Society Council of the Church of Scotland, the Revd
Sally Foster-Fulton, accused the Government and the media of
arguing from "baseless myths, based on extreme cases".
The Churches understood that "the welfare pot is not limitless,"
she said, but the Government should target areas such as tax fraud
and "huge gaping loopholes in corporation tax" before it targeted
"our most vulnerable, fragile, and marginalised people".
Additional reporting by Rae Boocock