POLITICS

Liz Truss Repeatedly Refuses To Tell Andrew Neil What Tories Will Cut From Welfare Bill

30/04/2015 14:52 BST | Updated 30/04/2015 16:59 BST

Conservative cabinet minister Liz Truss repeatedly dodged questions today about where the party would make cuts to welfare should it win the general election in a week's time.

The Conservative Party has said it will cut £12bn from the welfare bill. However it has only set out from where £2bn of the cuts will be made. Tory ministers have repeatedly avoided revealing where the axe will fall - leading Labour to accuse them of having a "secret" plan.

On Thursday morning Lib Dem Danny Alexander leaked an internal coalition memo that revealed work and pensions secretary Iain Duncan Smith had wanted to cut tax credits and child benefit. However George Osborne has said the proposals were rejected by him and David Cameron.

Earlier this week, justice secretary Chris Grayling conceded that the Tories had yet to decide how to meet its spending commitments. "No, we haven't taken all the decisions at this point. There isn't some master plan sitting there waiting to be deployed the day after the election," he said.

Appearing on the BBC's Daily Politics this afternoon, Truss was repeatedly pressed by presenter Andrew Neil on where the remaining £10bn of the planned £12bn in welfare savings would be made. But was unable to get an answer.

"Why don't you answer my question? You are unable this morning to give us any more than the £2bn out of £12bn in welfare cuts that we already know and you have repeated five times this morning, you can't give me any more detail on where the 10bn will come?" he asked.

Truss said voters should look at the Conservative Party's "track record" in government over the last five years as to what it would do. She said the party would set out "specifics" after the election. "Our main priority is to get people into work, that is how we are going to make savings in the welfare budget," she said.

An exasperated Neil accused Truss of trying to "filibuster" the interview by repeating the same points. "None of that answers any of the questions I've asked yo this morning," he sighed. "But the viewers will make up their minds on that."

In April, Osborne refused fifteen times to tell the BBC's Andrew Marr where he would find the promised extra £8bn for the NHS. And culture secretary Sajid Javid was mocked by presenters on the Daily Politics for failing to answer questions.