Conservatives voted against Labour opposition day motion


Here is dreaded reminder why we should not trust the establishment they give in one hand and suck out the blood out of the other hand.

 

 

 

7 Jan 2016 saw the opposition day motion being voted against in the house the results were as follows:

Ayes: 273

Noes: 308

Motion on universal credit allowance:

Calls on the government to reverse its decision to cut the allowance.

The work allowance is the amount that can be earned before the universal credit benefit is reduced.

Whilst it’s disappointing news that the Conservatives and others voted against the motion there is a sense of urgency to continue our fight to highlight that this Victorian establishment is hell bent on carrying out their agenda to make the poor to suffer unless you are lucky to have a rich relative(s) that you can turn to in your hour of need to help subsidise your lifestyle when they encourage the Department of Works and Pensions (DWP) to sanction you whilst you are on benefits.

Us plebs who depend on benefits to survive comes in two folds it’s either that a person who earn a living but have to depend on some benefits to top up your income. Or you lost your job and have to depend on benefits because of unscrupulous companies pays below the national minimum wage or living wage and they refuse to provide payslips so you can make a claim for tax credits and because you complain to the management of the company they decided to let you go. Then there is an untold stories that DWP, and press will not discuss the subject of Mental Health, disability or at worst domestic abuse when the service user(s) who depend on benefits which they seem to brush under the carpet so that they can meet their targets enforced by the Secretary Of DWP (Iain Duncan Smith) which forces service users hands to go to the Foodbanks until their benefits has been sorted out.

However there is a catch by heading to the foodbank you can only claim a food parcel three times. You will have to go to a money adviser, citizens’ advice bureau or your job centre to claim a voucher. After using the foodbank then you are left to fend for yourself to make ends meets this does not take into account that you have to top up your gas, and electric meters and look after your own personal hygiene or take your medication, pay your rent, and Council Tax.

 This what Margret Hodge had to say about Universal Credit:  

 

 

There is no doubt that Labour has campaigned against the establishment which forced them to postpone the unfair tax credits which help low paid workers make ends meet.  The u-turn only offers low paid workers a temporary relief. Be aware of the Greeks bearing gifts they give in the one hand and taking in the other hand by way of this government odious planning to introduce universal credit over this Parliament. This will mean that 2.6 million families are set to lose an average of £1,600 per year under the proposal of the new universal credit.

Be under no illusions this threat is real and low incomes of low paid working people has not disappeared with the hugely proposed cuts from this Tory Government.

Under this so-called proposal it’s alleged that six benefits will be rolled into one benefit. On the face of it, it sounds great but there are loopholes which need to be clampdown preventing fraud for the future for it can be fully implemented.

I don’t think the baby project of Iain Duncan Smith is going very smoothly in the guise of Universal Credit there have been wide criticism from all sections of parliament and I concur with Owen Smith when he said:

Owen Smith MP, Labour’s Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary, commenting on today’s OBR report showing the impact of cuts to Universal Credit, said:

“Labour warned last week that George Osborne’s u-turn on tax credits might not be all it seemed and today’s report from the OBR shows it was a total con job.

“It’s no wonder the government didn’t want to publish these figures last week and decided instead to sneak them out this morning.

“It shows clearly that the Tories are still taking £3 billion out of the pockets of working people, they’re just using Universal Credit instead of tax credits to pick those pockets.

“I’d urge those Conservative MPs who opposed tax credit cuts to look closely at this report and to reach the same conclusion that Labour has already reached – that cuts to Universal Credit are merely a re-branding of tax credit cuts. These cuts will drastically reduce support to working families and they should be opposed outright.”

It is said that Disability benefit assessment have doubled in cost to £579m a year but targets are still being missed the National Audit Office has said.

The spending watchdog found the quality of the tests was also not improving despite significant changes.

Meg Hilliler MP said the cost was “staggering” and sick disabled people needed “a better deal”.

One has to ask yourself this question is whether the changes to our welfare system especially to keep out EU citizens from claiming benefits when they arrive to the UK so it will make it difficult for them and us to claim benefits when we lose our jobs.

Currently wide speculation are coming from various so called sources stipulating that the establishment is trying to introduce the reforms so it is in line with the economy which George Osborne is claiming our country faces a cocktail of serious threats from a slowing global economy as 2016.

This what the Conservatives don’t want you to know, the deputy leader of the Labour party, Tom Watson, has accused the government of hiding essential information before the planned EU referendum by failing to disclose official figures on the number of migrant benefit claimants in Britain.

HM Revenue & Customs is refusing to disclose how many British nationals claiming tax credits are being counted as migrants. The number in question inflates the figure for immigrant families claiming in-work benefits and potentially means any policy aimed at restricting the benefits of EU migrants could hit thousands of Britons.

As the Guardian revealed last October, HMRC defines “non-UK families” as those where at least one adult in the claimant family is a migrant, meaning that mixed families where one partner is a British national are classed as immigrants.

Following that story, a freedom of information request was submitted to HMRCasking how many claimants classed as part of migrant families were British nationals.

Under FoI terms, a response was due by mid-November but the figures have yet to be released.

Although it claims it is dealing with the FoI request, HMRC has refused to say when it intends to respond. The tax office has also failed to explain why it missed the statutory deadline of 13 November or indicate any exemptions it may be considering, which should be communicated in delayed cases.

Watson said: “The fact the government has failed to respond to repeated freedom of information requests to explain how it defines an ‘immigrant family’ suggests it has something to hide. We can’t debate the UK’s place in Europe ahead of an historic EU referendum without accurate statistics on this and other issues.”

“The Freedom of Information Act was introduced by a Labour government because the public has a right to know about the decisions taken in its name.Labour would strengthen the act, but the Tories want to weaken it.”

HMRC’s definition of migrant families not only inflates the figure of 740,000 non-UK families claiming tax credits but also means that any policy aimed at restricting the benefits of migrants could also hit Britons. More than 7% of the UK’s 15.6m couples comprise one UK national and one non-UK national, according to analysis compiled by the Office for National Statistics for the Guardian. But when any such couples claim tax credits, they could be considered migrant families by the British government.

According to HMRC data there were 738,900 non-UK families (which include single people and couples) in receipt of tax credits as of March 2014, the most recent data released by the tax agency that includes a UK/non-UK breakdown. That is 15.9% of the total caseload.

Of the 738,900 non-UK families, 431,500 are couples while the other 307,400 are single claimants.

However, only 401,700 of all the 2.6 million singles (UK and non-UK) claiming tax credits have no children and receive working tax credit only. HMRC has also refused to say if it knows the number of cases where non-UK single claimants are claiming child tax credit and the other parent is a British national.

The vast majority of tax credit expenditure relates to families with children.

HMRC estimates that annual entitlements of families containing a non-UK national were £5.2bn in 2013-14 (17.4% of the total £29.7bn spend for that period). Of the £5.2bn, £1.2bn was paid to out-of-work families on child tax credits, £3.8bn to in-work families with children, and £200m to in-work claimants without children.

Last December, HMRC refused to disclose how many national insurance numbers issued to recent migrants were “active” (ie showed recent payments of tax or benefit claims) following an FoI request; the tax agency claimed releasing the information would be unhelpful to the UK’s EU membership negotiation process.

An HMRC spokesperson said: “We take our responsibilities under the FoI Act very seriously, and we make every effort to meet the statutory deadline for all FoI requests. Unfortunately, we are sometimes unable to provide a response by the deadline.”

Don’t believe the hype about the rollout of universal credit and how the Tories are finally “making work pay” – Iain Duncan Smith has presided over perhaps the failure of this parliament. Whenever I talk about the need for better representation of women and minorities in politics, there is a stock response. “Surely we want ministers appointed on merit?” people ask, making a serious face. And I always think, “So how do you explain Iain Duncan Smith, then?”

IDS is one of the great enigmas of modern politics. In person, he appears quiet, self-contained, borderline pious: stick him in a robe and sandals and he’d make a very good abbot. He has devoted allies who believe in him with quasi-religious zeal.

Yet welfare reform is perhaps the failure of this parliament, which has been allowed to go unnoticed because: a) it doesn’t really affect People Like Us and b) it is protected by a tedium shield three miles thick.

These past weeks, the spin doctors tell us, were devoted to trumpeting the Conservatives’ alleged success in saving the taxpayer sackloads of cash by chastising scroungers and layabouts into honest employment. Tory commentators are in ecstasies. “Like an unstoppable cyborg programmed with bourgeois decency – the Suburbinator – IDS has simply refused to give in,” swooned Matthew d’Ancona in the Guardianon 15 February. “His welfare revolution is potentially the most important achievement of the government,” wrote Peter Oborne in the same day’s Telegraph. (If only we could get all jobseekers to work as hard as the word “potentially” does in that sentence. I am potentially the most acclaimed supermodel of the 21st century. Tony Blair is potentially the man who will bring peace to the Middle East. Don’t all rush to Ladbrokes at once.)

Let’s start with Universal Credit, since that has apparently now been recast as a success. It is actually a failure: a good idea in theory that was horrifically bungled in practice. In 2010 the government quite reasonably acknowledged that navigating a maze of more than 30 benefits was causing huge problems for claimants. But ministers seemed less aware that the complexity would not go away under Universal Credit; it would merely be dealt with by a computer system instead.

There is a reason why “government IT project” rivals “rail replacement bus” as the most chilling three-word phrase in our language. This didn’t bother Duncan Smith and his circle at the Department for Work and Pensions, who were infused with a sense of divine purpose. Throughout the process, the department has made avoidable errors by insisting that all naysayers must be enemies rather than critical friends. In September 2013, a National Audit Office report raised alarms about “a ‘fortress’ mentality within the programme team and a ‘good news’ reporting culture”. The public accounts committee, led by the indomitable Margaret Hodge, reported in November that year that the team was “isolated and defensive” and “gave misleading interviews to the press” indicating that all was well. There were also some sharp questions about how well the £425m invested up to that point had been spent.

The problems are not confined to the distant past. In December, the Office for Budget Responsibility delivered an exquisitely crafted blow, saying, in effect, that it didn’t believe the department’s figures any longer. It cited “the recent history of optimism bias in Universal Credit plans and other projects of this sort”.

That optimism bias was still on show on 15 February as IDS announced the roll-out of Universal Credit. It might happen, although Labour says it will “pause” the programme if elected and George Osborne (who seems never to have rated his colleague’s intelligence or ability) may well find a way to kibosh it out of the spotlight of an election campaign. The Treasury has still not approved the business case for Universal Credit and the rollout has a host of exemptions. You cannot claim it if you own your home or are homeless, for example.

Even if it does finally emerge, Universal Credit seems unlikely to deliver the huge savings needed to slash the welfare bill to the levels demanded by Osborne. It might also have unintended consequences that haven’t been sufficiently offset. For instance, the vaunted ambition of “making work pay” – by stopping the steep reduction in benefits for those working just over 16 hours a week – might encourage claimants to take insecure, irregular part-time work and allow employers to get away with offering it.

Universal Credit is not the government’s only troubled welfare reform. The expanded work capability assessment backfired so badly that the outsourced provider ditched the contract. The Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) system has become incredibly punitive. Declan Gaffney in theNational Insti­tute Economic Review records that JSA sanctions are running at 6 per cent, the highest on record; among Employment and Support Allowance claimants (who are currently not fit for work), sanctions rose from 2,200 in the first quarter of 2012 to 15,900 in the first quarter of 2014. To gain public support for these measures, the government has relied on myths such as “families where no one has worked for three generations” (of which the Joseph Rowntree Foundation failed to find a single example).

The unpalatable truth is that a high benefits bill stems not from a badly structured welfare system but from a badly structured society. Take housing benefit: accounting for inflation, it has risen 150 per cent in the past 21 years. The answer is not to cut housing benefit but to build more homes.

Welfare reform in this parliament has been about running to stand still, huffing and puffing and achieving very little. As Gaffney notes, “Labour’s spending plans for 2014/15 were for £216.8bn, compared with the current forecast of £215bn.” I bet the Quiet Man won’t have much to say about that.

Now this rich coming from George Osborne to allege this year is likely to be one of the toughest since the financial crisis. This smells like the god of fear being branded around to maximum effect to show that the Tories are in charge which is more inline of the thinking of UKIP and their supporters just in case of a referendum is on the horizon.

 

 

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