Phillip Hammond MP Joins The Fight Against Benefits
On Saturday, in an interview about defense spending, he told the Telegraph:
“There is a body of opinion within Cabinet that we have to look at the welfare budget again. The welfare budget is the bit of public spending that has risen the furthest and the fastest and if we are going to get control of public spending on a sustainable basis, we are going to have to do more to tackle the growth in the welfare budget.”
In Mr Hammond’s opinion, rising employment should be countered by a falling welfare budget. He appreciates Iain Duncan-Smith’s plans for the long-term, “but in the short term, we have an immediate problem in 2015-16 and I believe that welfare will have to make a further contribution to that problem”.
“I am a Conservative. The kind of Conservatism I was brought up on says that the first priority of the government is defending the country and maintaining law and order. Those are the two top priorities for me,” he says.
I say to him: Sir, please defend the country. Please maintain law and order. But please remember that many of the very people who live every day in the very country you work so hard to defend are using the welfare budget to survive. If you cut the welfare budget any further, Sir, your soldiers will return to a country which will have a much smaller population than the country they left behind.
Then your soldiers will have less people to defend, Sir, and then you won’t be able to complain about cuts to your defense department.