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Sunday, December 14, 1997 Published at 19:12 GMT


Blair stands ground on welfare reform
image: [ Tony Blair: Nobody who needs benefits will lose them ]
Tony Blair: Nobody who needs benefits will lose them

The Prime Minister, Tony Blair, has said the Government intends to press ahead with its plans to reform of the welfare system, despite opposition from some of his own MPs.

He also reiterated that nobody who needed benefits would lose them.

Tony Blair stands firm on welfare reform (Dur: 24")
The threat of another Labour rebellion prompted Mr Blair to stress that even for the disabled, the Government saw work as the best route out of poverty.

"What we've got to try to do is reform the system so that those that can and want to get into work can do so," he told GMTV.

William Hague says he will oppose any benefit cuts to the disabled (Dur: 21")
The Tories are keeping up their attack on this issue. After voting with the Government on a Bill to cut benefits to single parents, they have promised to take a different line on any attempt to reduce benefits to the disabled.

That would mean Tory MPs voting alongside rebel Labour MPs.

[ image: MP Lynne Johnson opposes Government plans]
MP Lynne Johnson opposes Government plans
One of Labour's ranks, Dr Lynne Jones, MP for Birmingham Selly Oak, said she was worried benefits to sick and disabled people would be substantially cut.

"That wasn't what we promised," she said.

"We said we'd like to get the social security budget down because we would actually have a more successful economy.

"Let's concentrate on having a more successful economy, getting jobs available, rather than trying to cut the social security budget. That's the wrong approach."


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