Dreaded Benefit Caps will come to bite the Coalition


Quote of the day:

“If you don’t vote you don’t have a say”.

My thoughts of Benefit Caps

 

photoRecently I was put on the scrap heap by a company I was working through no fault of mine as it turned out that the company could not provide a service to their customers and some of the staff had not been paid which many of us was force to sign on until we all could seek full-time employment.

In regards to the Benefit Cap this affects me on how much I get in Housing and Council Benefits. I have worked all my life and paid all my taxes and I find myself in a limbo and I had to down grade to a one bed room flat.

 

downloadMost people who are on low paid salaries will inform you that they will face unnecessary hardship with the recent change in benefits which normally are women who have made their contribution in society.

People with disabilities be it physical, learning disabilities, or mental health are according to this coalition:

“We’re all in it together”

Somehow I don’t think so let’s take a serious look for one moment Mental Health Hospital and Homes are closing owing to budget in crisis of this coalition. There is not enough support in the community since the Community Care Act introduced by the previous Conservative Government. (Oops this must be choking them now)

The constant reminders of the 1970-1980s spin has come back to hunt the coalition now remember the quote I grew up in the ’30s with an unemployed father. He didn’t riot. He got on his bike and looked for work, and he kept looking ’til he found it.

Child poverty campaigners laid the blame for the social cleansing of London’s poor squarely at the door of the Con-Dems‘ austerity policies today.

The coalition’s £500-a-week benefit caps mean London councils face sending thousands of homeless families out of the capital in defiance of official wishes.

They’ve started snapping up properties in the Home Counties and are even eying up others as far afield as Manchester or jobs-strapped Merthyr Tydfil in south Wales.

Former housing minister Grant Shapps demanded that people be rehoused in their local areas following the news that east London‘s Newham council wanted to move 500 families to Stoke last year.

Research from Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) and lobby group Lasa showed that the government’s own impact assessment predicted 124,480 will be hit by the cap and London councils estimate that 63,000 families will be unable to pay their rent.

Their new report Between a rock and a hard place: the early impacts of welfare reform on London also shows councils fear placing families outside London will leave them open to legal challenge.

The alternative for councils – making up families’ rent shortfalls because of government cuts – would leave them with holes in their own budgets.

“Many families are reluctant to lose local networks and may move into inadequately sized or poor quality accommodation to be able to pay their rent,” the report warned.

“The way to meet these problems is widely thought to be a significant increase in-house building in London, rather than attempts to manage supply and demand through social security reforms.”

CPAG chief executive officer Alison Garnham said: “Families are facing the impossible situation of being told to move to cheaper accommodation that just doesn’t exist with London’s rising rents.

“It’s not right that children are left paying the price for London’s housing crisis, which they did nothing to create.

“There’s still time for government to do the sensible thing and think again when these reforms are debated in Parliament before thousands of London’s families find themselves uprooted, overcrowded and thrown into turmoil.”

Intriguingly Former Lib Dem frontbencher Sarah Teather lashed out at the planned £500-a-week benefits cap as immoral and deeply decisive today.

The onetime coalition minister said MPs were seeking to “gain popularity at the expense of children’s lives” by pushing through a measure they knew was popular but ineffective.

In an interview with The Observer she said the lives of thousands of children will be disrupted as families are uprooted from their homes leading to a “reverse Jarrow march.”

Ms Teather faced calls for her sacking as children and families minister in February after she missed a key vote on the reforms which she had already publicly questioned.

She left the government ranks in September’s reshuffle.

Ms Teather said: “I think deliberately to stoke up envy and division between people in order to gain popularity at the expense of children’s lives is immoral.

“I don’t think it was even remotely conceived as a financial cost-cutting device. I think it was conceived as a political device to demonstrate whose side you are on.”

She added: “My fear is that a lot of people will effectively just disappear from the area in which they were living. I think some very horrible things are going to happen.”

A spokesman for Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith said her criticisms “are hugely misinformed and therefore result in needless scaremongering.”

See article below:

Labour MPs have failed to block controversial plans to cap working-age benefit rises at 1% as the proposals passed through the House of Commons.

The Welfare Benefits Up-rating Bill, which will cap the benefit rises until 2016, passed by 305 votes to 246.

Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith said spending had to be brought “back under control” or the “poorest in society will fare the worst”.

Labour’s Liam Byrne said “compassionate Conservatism” was no longer believable.

Monday’s vote means the bill has completed its main Commons stages and the bill now proceeds to the House of Lords where peers will debate and vote on it.

If the Lords makes changes to the bill it will then return to the Commons for MPs to consider any amendments – both the Lords and Commons must agree on the wording of the bill for it to become law.

Benefits have historically risen in line with inflation and, without any change, would have been due to go up by 2.2% in April.

But the government says that with public sector pay rises capped at 1%, a similar limit should apply to working-age benefits such as jobseeker’s allowance, employment and support allowance and income support as well as elements of working tax credits and child tax credit.

“This is not a decision at any stage that we take lightly,” said Mr Duncan Smith during a brief third reading debate.

“But nonetheless our priority ultimately must be to make sure that we get the legacy left to us, of disaster and spending out of control, back under control.”

Mr Byrne, the shadow work and pensions secretary, said: “I have never seen so much taken from so many, so fast.

“No one will believe there is such a thing as compassionate Conservatism ever again.”

Benefits set to be capped

  • Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • Employment and Support Allowance
  • Income Support
  • Elements of housing benefit
  • Maternity allowance
  • Sick Pay, Maternity Pay, Paternity Pay, Adoption Pay
  • Couple and lone parent elements of working tax credits and the child element of the child tax credit

Tory MP John Redwood, who said he would “trust the judgement” of frontbench colleagues on the wisdom of the cap, added: “Ministers have to watch to make sure it doesn’t become unintentionally more penal.

“What we want to see is much more work on the side of promoting jobs and growth because we come here to eliminate poverty not to make it worse.”

Among a group of Liberal Democrat MPs calling for benefit rises to be linked to average earnings, former party leader Charles Kennedy said: “A tactical judgment I think has been taken by Conservative – not coalition, but Conservative – high command that this can be a very useful dividing stretch of water to place between themselves and in particular the Labour Party with a view to the next election.”

The bill was branded “cruel and callous” by Green MP Caroline Lucas, who said: “What are we meant to make of the long-term policy intentions here?

“Unfortunately, I think it is very clear it is to chip away at the welfare state and to leave people to fend for themselves, with US-style deprivation for the unsuccessful.

“It is a scandal to expose poor people to this kind of risk and insecurity, especially at the same time the most wealthy are set to enjoy a significant tax cut.”

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