Something like 100,000 people have signed a petition for Iain Duncan Smith to live up to his comment that he could live on £53 a week, which is the amount that as Works and Pensions Secretary he has said is that the State will provide to the unemployed.
The amount doesn’t really matter as the Benefit Cap does not include the infamous ‘bedroom tax’ that means if you live in social housing and you have more bedrooms than the State says you need then you start paying between £14 and £25 a month of Benefit. It sounds fine apart from the fact that there is not enough ‘appropriate accommodation’ available.
The Social Welfare Changes have come in all at once, this is seismic shift in social welfare policy, all at once, without considering the effects, it social engineering on a national scale. Another of the proposals is that people unable to find work or on Benefits will be given ’food vouchers’ – those who have fallen on hard times are to be further stigmatised by this Government which, quite frankly, hates poor people.
The Daily Mail ran a story on January that stated Helen Grant, Equalities Minister:
An MP who claimed £20,000 a year for a London flat despite having a £1.8million home in nearby Surrey has complained that she is struggling to sell her house.
The house is 19 miles from the House of Commons, and she has been receiving £1,600 per month for her second home, as far as I am aware my local MP (a Conservative) lives 77 miles from London, lets say 80 miles from the House of Commons and claims £1,050 for rent, which is far more understandable, but the number of people who commute to London from Swindon is a fair number, I am sure our train service could stand one more. The claims that everyone is in this together rings hollow, we are not all in this together. The weak of our society are being far more harshly treated than the rich.
All this has been done in week when the ‘rich people’ have been given a tax cut.
The New Statesman asked the leading members of the Cabinet if they were prepared to live on £53 a week, these are the answers
“A Downing Street spokeswoman said ‘The Prime Minister, like the Secretary of State for Works and Pensions , feels that benefit levels are fair”
Translation – I am not going to answer the question.
Greg Clark, Financial Secretary to the Treasury
“I think it’s in incredible struggle to do and I think any MP, anyone earning a comfortable wage that an MP has would certainly struggle …”
At least some recognition
George Osbone’s reply was the most damming
“I don’ think it is sensible to reduce the debate about one individual’s personal circumstance. This debate is not about one any individual.”
It is sickening that the Chancellor cannot understand the concept that the policies of this Government are affecting individuals, that is what Government is all about, society, individuals. feel the Chancellors remarks show what the Tories are really doing, dismantling society to recreate it in their own utopian nightmare, regardless of the human cost. It is about ideology, not about governing responsibly. It is just about conceivable that the Tories actually welcomed the financial crisis, an excuse to implement their twisted policies.
Next on the agenda is workers rights.