Over recent years benefit and tax credit cuts have led to the massive increase in hardship and poverty in the UK and especially so in Torbay.
In a classic example of a thief pointing at the innocent and shouting ‘thief!’, the bankers, tax-dodging corporations and expenses-fiddling politicians have used their media to draw attention from themselves, the real criminals.
Disgracefully, for one of the richest countries in the world, charity foodbanks are struggling to meet demand from hungry people across our communities where jobs with a living wage do not exist!
This is after only some 10% of cuts have actually taken effect! There are a whole load more on the way.
Cuts so far have hit many people needing to claim Housing Benefit, Child Benefit, Working and Child Tax Credit and Employment Support Allowance. Next year sees:
- further cuts to the housing benefit of certain working age people (those under the rising women’s retirement age) in social and council housing
- slashing the Disability Living Allowance (DLA) of thousands of people with disabilities and its replacement by way of a 20% cut to Personal Independence Payment (PIP)
- stopping access to loans for people in emergencies and dire urgent need
- replacing most means-tested working age benefits and tax credits with monthly paid Universal Credit (UC) with a civil service that has been cut to the bone and faces even more job losses leading to administrative chaos
- forcing the very poorest working age people to pay money to their council through cuts to Council Tax Benefit with a reduced Council Tax Support affecting some 10,000 people in Torbay!
Apart from a bit of political posturing and easily ignored ‘rebellions’ in the House of Lords the Coalition feels confident to push ahead with ever more cuts.
It has also announced that in addition to these cuts the Cabinet of Millionaires plans to make an additional £10 billion of cuts to benefits.
In the absence of any serious opposition leadership to these attacks on ordinary people we need to regroup.
We must build on the legacy of the Paralympics crowds booing Chancellor George Osborne and the campaign against Margaret Thatcher’s Poll Tax in the 1990s.
Anyone interested in getting involved in such a campaign can contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
• You can also find the Totnes and South Devon Claimants’ Union on Facebook