Osborne defends his decision to axe cash

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CHANCELLOR George Osborne has defended his decision to slash tax credits, insisting that protesters who demonstrated against the cuts were not ‘representative’ of public opinion.

An estimated 60,000 people brought central Manchester to a halt on Sunday as they marched on the Conservative annual conference, demanding an end to austerity and the preservation of tax credits.

About 15,000 families in Portsmouth are affected by Mr Osborne’s move, with Lib Dem campaigners raising concerns about the impact on low-income households.

Prime minister David Cameron on Sunday resisted pressure from former Tory minister and ex-Havant MP David Willetts to review the chancellor’s plans and ‘ease’ the cuts in next month’s Autumn Statement.

But Mr Osborne said a ‘typical’ family with one person working full-time on the national minimum wage will be better off overall, when all of the Government’s changes to benefits, income tax allowances and the establishment of a new ‘national living wage’ are taken into account.

And he said that maintaining tax credits at their current level would force the government to divert money away from priorities like health and education.