Just clarify to why I’m continually bashing the Tories that’s exactly what it means. Obviously I’ve discuss things we either agree or disagree with but when the Labour Party gets its policies right I’m sure many party member will praise them but when they get it wrong like many other Labour Marty members we will criticize in any way that the leadership will understand.
On Thursday 27 February, MPs will take part in a debate on a motion relating to the effects of welfare reform on sick and disabled people. This debate was scheduled by the Backbench Business Committee following representations from John McDonnell and Grahame M. Morris.
“That this House calls on the Government to commission an independent cumulative assessment of the impact of changes in the welfare system on sick and disabled people, their families and carers, drawing upon the expertise of the Work and Pensions Select Committee; requests that this impact assessment examine care home admissions, access to day care centres, access to education for people with learning difficulties, provision of universal mental health treatments, closures of Remploy factories, the Government’s contract with Atos Healthcare, IT implementation of universal credit, human rights abuses against disabled people, excess deaths of welfare claimants and the disregard of medical evidence in decision-making by Atos, the Department for Work and Pensions and the Tribunals Service; urges the Secretary of State for Health and the Secretary of State for Education jointly to launch a consultation on improving support into work for sick and disabled people; and further calls on the Government to end with immediate effect the work capability assessment, as voted for by the British Medical Association, to discontinue forced work under the threat of sanctions for people on disability benefits and to bring forward legislative proposals to allow a free vote on repeal of the Welfare Reform Act 2012.”
I bet you all that David Cameron conveniently forgot to mention that half a million people have visited foodbanks in the UK since last Easter and 5,500 people were admitted to hospital in the UK for malnutrition last year.
One in five mothers report regularly skipping meals to better feed their children, and even more families are just one unexpected bill away from waking up with empty cupboards.
We often hear talk of hard choices. Surely few can be harder than that faced by the tens of thousands of older people who must “heat or eat” each winter, harder than those faced by families whose wages have stayed flat while food prices have gone up 30% in just five years.
Yet beyond even this we must, as a society, face up to the fact that over half of people using foodbanks have been put in that situation by cut backs to and failures in the benefit system, whether it be payment delays or punitive sanctions.
There is an acute moral imperative to act. Hundreds of thousands of people are doing so already, as they set up and support foodbanks across the UK. But this is a national crisis, and one we must rise to.
I’m sure many of us will call on government to do its part: acting to investigate food markets that are failing, to make sure that work pays, and to ensure that the welfare system provides a robust last line of defence against hunger.
Here is another example that the coalition forgot to say the future of the Government’s major £2bn welfare reform was thrown into fresh doubt on Wednesday night after it emerged that just a handful of claimants have been enrolled into the new system.
The figure emerged amid claims the next government could be forced to pull the plug on Universal Credit, which has already been seriously delayed following IT problems.
The new credit, which combines six working-age benefits and credits into a single payment, has been championed by Iain Duncan Smith, the Work and Pensions Secretary, as a way of ensuring the unemployed always have an incentive to find a job.
Under his original timetable, 1 million people would be receiving the payment by April, rising to 1.7 million a year later.
But the DWP admitted that only 3,200 had been enrolled for Universal Credit by the end of November, nearly all of them as part of a pilot scheme in four job centres in the North-West of England. The vast majority are young single jobseekers, the least complicated category of claimant.
As the Government has spent £612m getting the scheme off the ground, the spending so far equates to £191,250 per head. Government sources insisted David Cameron and senior ministers remained committed to Universal Credit. Labour also said it supported its principle, but believed the Coalition’s roll-out was seriously flawed.
However, Whitehall officials were yesterday reported to fear the whole project could be scrapped after the general election, whichever party is victorious in May 2015. According to the Financial Times, officials believe it “must start delivering results by the next election or risk being drastically scaled back or even abandoned”.
Mr Duncan Smith has faced criticism for spending money on an existing computer programme to support the pilot projects at the same time as developing a digital system sophisticated enough to allow Universal Credit to be rolled out nationally.
The latter will be tested in 100 households in November; if it is judged unable to cope with the pressure of handling up to 12 million claims, the welfare reform could be in jeopardy.
A DWP source said the department had “strong, safe and robust plans” for introducing Universal Credit, adding: “It’s on the ground now, people are claiming it, people are moving into work.”
Im sure many of will congratulate Anne Begg, chair of the Commons Work and Pensions Select Committee, said the “jury is out” over its future. “The big claim for Universal Credit is that it will always make work pay and it will be simple for people to realise that work pays.
“I’m beginning to think it will be equally complicated under Universal Credit to make those kind of judgements when you start to factor in free school meals, child care and housing costs.”
An independent review into Universal Credit is due to report in April.
Many of my friends are convinced that with the revelations coming out of the Phone hacking trials, it’s demonstrating that the only decent politician we have at the top at the present is Ed Milliband. Little wonder he is being attacked by all sides of the gravy train passengers, Tories, Media, British Gas and so on. As we get closer to the Election it is becoming increasingly obvious that he has been calling the shots on what is responsible capitalism and how we can best live with it in this post Thatcher/Reagan age of free market economies.
It may not be perfect but at least he offers a start out of this morass of intrigue and big business interests before those of the countries citizens. There will always be those among us who , for reasons best known to themselves will want him to move more quickly to the left. His Qualifications are impeccable with his upbringing. Can we say that about any other leader in our midst?
Many will remember the words of Jack Dromey MP when he said Two thirds of the 660,000 hit by the #bedroomtax are disabled. 60,000 are carers. The most vulnerable are the hardest hit by this cruel tax.
Like her or loath her Rachel Reeves MP, Labour’s Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary, responding to David Cameron’s claims that his welfare changes have given people ‘hope’, said:
“David Cameron’s so-called ‘moral crusade’ on welfare has been a disaster.
“There’s nothing moral about working people paying more and disabled people being hit hardest.
“Under David Cameron’s government, for the first time more people in poverty are in work than out of work. More than two thirds of the people hit by the one per cent cap on working age benefits and tax credits have a job. The Bedroom Tax has hit hundreds of thousands of disabled people and their carers, and the number of young people on unemployment benefit for over a year has doubled since 2010. Meanwhile, the Government’s flagship welfare reform, Universal Credit, has cost an astonishing £225,000 per person using it. No wonder David Cameron has presided over a tenfold rise in people relying on food banks.
“This Tory-led Government’s welfare reforms have penalised, rather than helped, those doing the right thing. The idea that disabled people hit by the Bedroom Tax, young people desperate for a job but stuck on benefits, and working families struggling to survive on low pay have been given ‘hope’ by David Cameron is preposterous.
“A Labour government will introduce a compulsory jobs guarantee to ensure those that can work do so, strengthen the minimum wage and scrap the hated Bedroom Tax.”
Ten facts you need to know about David Cameron’s “moral crusade”:
1. Two thirds of the 660,000 people hit by David Cameron’s hated “bedroom tax” are disabled (1), and 60,000 are carers.
2. The number of young people left on unemployment benefits for over a year has doubled since the election
3. The number of adults left on unemployment benefits for over two years has quadrupled since the election.
4. Millions have been wasted on David Cameron’s flagship welfare reform Universal Credit, with £225,000 spent for every person receiving it at the end of last year.
5. Child poverty is set to rise by 400,000 under David Cameron’s government, and 900,000 by the end of the decade.
6. Women have been hit twice as hard as men by changes to benefits and tax credits under David Cameron’s government.
7. More than 500,000 people were referred to food banks for emergency help between April and December last year – more than ten times as many as in 2009-10 (8). The Trussell Trust have cited benefit delays and measures such as the bedroom tax as key causes, along with rising in-work poverty
8. For the first time since relevant records began more households living in poverty are in work than out of work . 68 per cent of the people hit by David Cameron’s one per cent cap on working age benefits and tax credits are working
9. Changes to rules on working tax credits have left some families with children better off out of work and cuts to childcare support mean that families have lost up to £1,500 a year.
10. The number of people who want to work full time but can only get a part time job has risen by 350,000 under this government (14) and the number of people earning less than a living wage has risen from 3.6 million in 2010 to 4.8 million in 2012 (15) and is now more than 5 million.