In an attempt to achieve an economically worthless but politically valuable budget surplus, cuts to public services will continue even once the structural deficit has been eradicated – this is unworkable.
The Tory MP's plan to limit all child-related benefits to two children would undermine the 'striver'/'scrounger' divide by hitting all families, regardless of their employment status.
The IFS warns that further cuts to pay could make it "increasingly difficult" for public sector employers to "retain and recruit high quality workers".
The Chancellor suggests a future Tory government would make large welfare cuts, including a lower benefit cap.
The Chancellor's ideological cuts are but one route to sound public finances. Alternatives, centred around investment, are available.
Rather than using the forecast structural surplus to pay down the national debt, the government should invest it in science, skills and childcare.
If the Chancellor starts doling out goodies he risks undercutting the Tory message of long-term discipline.
New research shows the cuts are biting deepest in the poorest areas in the north and Scotland, with worse to come.
The punitive penalty presents appalling dilemmas for vulnerable families. Ministers should finally accept that they have lost the argument.
The PM's vision of a permanently "leaner" state is a grim prospect for those reliant on public services and the welfare state to maintain an adequate standard of living.