British finance minister to court voters with 'tough love' welfare rules
MANCHESTER, England (REUTERS) - British finance minister George Osborne will propose tougher new welfare rules on Monday to try to win over working voters who are grappling with depleted spending power ahead of the 2015 election.
Speaking to Conservative Party activists at the penultimate conference before the election, Osborne will promise he can sustain a recovery of Britain's US$2.5 trillion (S$3.2 trillion) economy, but caution there can be no complacency.
"What really drives an improvement in living standards is an economic policy that creates jobs, keeps mortgage rates low, helps people keep more of their income tax free," Mr Osborne told the BBC ahead of the speech.
Osborne's pitch is designed to counter the opposition Labour Party's charge that Prime Minister David Cameron has presided over a cost of living crisis. It is meant to appeal to working Britons who, according to polls, feel the country's annual 200 billion pound (S$401 billion) welfare system is too generous.