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I don’t normally mention the following Member of Parliaments John Speller MP, Jack Dromey MP, or Richard Burden MP or Kwasi Kwarteng MP .
On this occasion I have to concur with John Speller MP statement when he said “Modern day Scrooge Iain Duncan Smith new rules mean jobless and disabled could mean they will have their benefits stop during Christmas Eve”. He is correct to point this out I’m sure many would concur with his sentiments.
Jack Dromey MP quotes:
Since the new reforms started that has been no doubt an increase in deaths and sanctions of benefits from cross sections of society all in the name to reduce welfare spending. Here is an example of what Jack Dromey said when he was housing minister in 2012:
“The truly tragic story of Paul Turner shows all too clearly the human consequences of the Government’s welfare reforms.
Under government reforms, incapacity benefit claimants are forced to undergo assessments to see if they are deemed capable of working. If they cannot work, or need support to help them work, they receive Employment and Support Allowance. However, if they are deemed fit for work they are placed on Jobseekers Allowance – which means they have to prove they are looking for a job.
Mr Turner received a letter in February stating that officials believed he was fit for work. On April 2 he flew to France for a short family holiday with his wife and teenage son. Later that evening he suffered heart failure and died.
Richard Burden eloquently written in the Huff Post:
Last week, I called in to say hello at Northfield’s local Trussell Trust foodbank. Back in the Commons I always hear Government ministers talk about Britain’s strong economy and how the number of people without a job is falling. And, yes, for a lot of people, things are feeling a better than they were a couple of years ago. But there is another side of the story, and you see it for yourself at the B30 Foodbank.
The sheer scale of the operation these days is both astonishing and impressive.
The fact that it has to be so big, though, underlines that something is fundamentally wrong with the way Britain operates at the moment. My office is one of the local advice centres that is authorised to refer people to B30 foodbank for support. In the last month we have referred about the same number of people to the foodbank for assistance as we did in the ten months before that.
It’s not that we have suddenly started throwing foodbank vouchers about. It’s that the need continues to grow and the local MP’s office is one of the places to which people turn for help when they don’t know where else to turn. There is a wide spectrum of people who are running out of the money they need to buy food, toilet rolls and other family essentials these days.
Quite a few different reasons too. However, a common factor in so many cases is the way the tax benefits and tax credits systems operate. People facing sanctions; people moving from one benefit to another with delays in the meantime; people falling between one part of the benefit or tax credit system and another. And please don’t think I am simply talking about people without jobs. A lot of people who turn for help to B30 and other foodbanks across the country are in work. It’s just that they are on poverty pay.
It is a similar picture across the rest of the country too. Between April and September 2015 Trussell Trust foodbanks across the UK gave 506,369 three day emergency food supplies to people compared to 492,641 in the same period last year. And in December 2014 referrals to foodbanks were 53 per cent higher than the average across other months, with more than 130,000 three day food supplies being given to people in just one month. The charity fears this winter could be their busiest ever. There was a time when the term “social security” meant just that. However bad things got, the state would not leave you trying live on thin air. Those days have gone.
When I help with collections for local foodbanks, I am always touched by the generosity of local people around Northfield, often with those people who have least to give are those who proportionately giving the most. So I want to take this opportunity to say thank you to all those who give and to all those who volunteer in foodbanks across the UK. Maybe the best thanks we, as politicians, could give, however, would be to reduce the need for foodbanks to play such a key role in Britain today. That will take action across a number of fronts.
Right now, though, I just want to highlight two key ones: First, to get the benefits system operating in a way that focusses on people – not just systems or targets. A second, but equally important area for action is to tackle the scourge of low paid and insecure employment which blights the lives of so many. And part of that means by promoting the Living Wage – the real one that is, not the rebranded Minimum Wage which the Government invented this year.
Are you listening Mr Osborne?
What an insult from Author Kwasi Kwarteng who said who said in an interview with BBC on 11 June 2015:
Young unemployed people should be forced to repay their benefit money when they get a job, an influential group of Conservative MPs has said.
The proposal to pay benefits as a loan would give them “an additional incentive to find work rather than allow the debt to build up”.
The idea is included in a new book setting out a “radical” free market agenda for the Conservative government. The Conservative MP and junior ministerial aide argues that free enterprise – rather than government interference – is the answer to the problems facing Britain.
Chancellor George Osborne is understood to be considering reducing tax credits for millions of working families in his July Budget, as part of the government’s efforts to “make work pay”, although critics accuse him of making the poor pay for the mistakes of bankers.
Mr Kwarteng’s book argues for a more radical shrinking of the welfare state to return it to the contributory principle envisioned by its founder Sir William Beveridge – that you get benefits in return for contributions.
It says: “Strains on the welfare state are often blamed on benefits being too generous, but the truth is that welfare is so expensive – over £90bn for working-age benefits alone – because too many people are eligible.
“In fact, JSA – the main out-of-work benefit – is fairly stingy for those who have contributed to the tax system for years and find themselves out of work for the first time.”
The book says the government should “look at other ways to encourage work – while making sure that the system is not cruel to those who have simply been unlucky”.
“Young individuals who have not yet paid national insurance contributions for a certain period, five years say, could receive their unemployment benefit in the form of a repayable loan.
“An unemployed teenager would still receive the same amount of cash as now, for example, but they would be expected to repay the value once in work.
“Turning an entitlement into a loan would mean that people would still be supported while out of work, but would have an additional incentive to find work rather than allow the debt to build up.”
Even if someone was out of work for the entire seven years between 18 and 25, “the total sum repayable would be £20,475 – considerably less than the tuition fees loan repayable by many of his or her peers”.
At the same time, those who have paid into the system for many years should get a “fairer deal” if they unexpectedly lose their job later in life.
Other ideas in the book include scrapping maternity and paternity pay to ease the burden on business. Instead, new parents would get a flat rate “baby bonus” paid directly by central government.
It also calls for the scrapping of some government departments, tax raising powers for local authorities, a regional minimum wage, allowing free schools to generate a profit, encouraging banks to use a common IT system allowing “portable” bank accounts and scrapping the BBC licence fee.
The book pulls together policy ideas from the Free Enterprise Group of Conservative MPs, set up by Environment Secretary Liz Truss and other members of the 2010 intake of Conservative MPs to promote a leaner state and boost entrepreneurship. It is backed by the Institute for Economic Affairs think tank.
Writing in the foreword to a Time for Choosing: Free Enterprise in Twenty-First Century Britain, published by Palgrave Macmillan, Mr Kwarteng says: “The capacity of individuals, companies and other groups to generate prosperity and well-being, when left to their own devices, is too often overlooked.
“We should allow a competitive and free economic environment to flourish in Britain, to challenge monopolies and oligopolies, and to allow individuals to create, innovate and take risks.”
Then to out the icing on the cake no surprises that high rents and mortgages in England means families are skimping on heating and winter clothes to make ends meet.
It is alleged more than a quarter (2.7%) of 853 parents of under 18s they had to cut winter spending to meet housing costs.
It comes no surprise that some families are found living in sub-standard conditions in garages with no heating let alone a shower. To top if of housing projects helping more than 400,000 vulnerable adults face closure because of the establishment welfare cuts.
The Treasury’s decision to cap housing benefit at the level available for private rents makes many schemes unavailable. The housing cap is part of a £12billion package of cuts from welfare bill.
Local authorities have a key role in implementing the mental health strategy and improving mental health in their communities. We want to support and encourage local authorities to take a proactive approach to this crucial issue. So this will be the challenge for local government to take on. The Mental Health Challenge and have produced a template motion to enable councils to promote mental health across all of their business.
- 1 in 4 people will experience a mental health problem in any given year.
- The World Health Organisation predicts that depression will be the second most common health condition worldwide by 2020.
- Mental ill health costs some £105 billion each year in England alone.
- People with a severe mental illness die up to 20 years younger than their peers in the UK.
- There is often a circular relationship between mental health and issues such as housing, employment, family problems or debt.
On reflection in regards to Tax Credit forgive me for saying this but I think that this establishment should have force through the changes in parliament. It’s only then the voters would take noticed then take positive action to rid them out of power in 2020 to bring in a Labour Government.
This is why so many people are not least surprised Iain Duncan Smith by his Thatcherism attitude towards people who are disabled and people on lower incomes.
It’s no wonder why that the Local Government Association is up in arms over the flood defences are being abandoned or maintained at minimal levels because of the government spending cuts. It’s no surprise this can leave twice as much homes at risk within twenty years. It’s further alleged that employers have been awarded almost £300,000 in total causing outrage after the devastation over the Christmas as flood defences failed.
Labour lost the General Elections in 2015 for a second term and we’ve seen a new leader replacing Ed Miliband. For 2016 will see Local Government, Police Crime Commissioner, London Mayor Elections and our task is to win not just existing Labour safe seats but to gain some marginal seats too.
I know I keep harping on about its good to see that Labour win seats but remember that labour safe seats is one thing but to take marginal seats off from the Conservatives, Libdems, SNP, Plaid Cymru, Greens and UKIP will be ideal and will determine the outcome of the General Elections 2020.
I would urge where there is no Local Government elections in wards or regions that Labour activists can do is contact a neighbouring Regional Office to help out fellow Labour activists.
Our fight is with the SNP, Tory, and UKIP bashing resume on the 8 January 2016.