SHADOW employment minister Mike Amesbury has slammed the government for punishing the low-paid and vulnerable.

Speaking from the despatch box, the Weaver Vale MP said House of Commons figures had revealed £37 billion will have been cut from social security by 2021-22, compared with 2010.

Meanwhile, the richest corporations, including those in the financial sector which he said should shoulder some of the responsibility for austerity, have had tax cuts of more than £110 billion, adding: “That is not fair, right or just”.

He told the Chamber: "Child poverty is up, with a massive 4.2 million children in need; in-work poverty is up, and now affects eight million people who are in work; and wages have not recovered to 2008 levels.

"This government has spent nine years using social security as a vehicle for cuts; meanwhile some of their friends in the financial sector and in the banks have received bonuses and unjustifiable tax cuts.”