Delusional David Cameron has insisted the Tory-led coalition government “protected the poorest” in society, in an interview with the Independent newspaper.
“I haven’t changed. I am a compassionate Conservative”, he told the journalist, whilst travelling from Belfast to Cardiff during a four-nations tour to promote his support for the union.
“We had to make difficult decisions”, he says. “I would argue that this has been done in a compassionate way. We protected the poorest, the pensioners, the NHS. We had a balanced plan.”
When pushed to explain why a “compassionate Conservative” would push for a further £12bn in welfare cuts after May’s general election, he replied: “There is nothing compassionate about leaving people to live on welfare when they could have the dignity and security of work”.
He claims that the coalitions welfare reforms have led to 900,000 fewer people claiming working-age benefits.
> I wonder how that figure would look once you’d deducted those sanctioned…and those who have died.
“That is a deeply compassionate thing. That is very much the impetus of our welfare reform”, he said.
“It is not just about saving money. It is about trying to save lives and change people’s lives. Can we save about half of what we saved in the last parliament through a process of reform? Yes, we can.”
David Cameron’s comments will undoubtedly infuriate thousands of families who have been forced to turn to food banks, in the wake of some of the most callous and vicious cuts to welfare and social security in living memory.
More than 900,000 jobseekers were subjected to benefit sanctions in one year alone (April 2013 to March 2014), often for unfair or spurious reasons. This has resulted in a call from the Work and Pensions Committee for an independent review into the punitive system.
> Sometime in the next few years. Maybe.
Disabled people have been targeted with cuts to vital disability benefits and other forms of support, such as the abolition of the Independent Living Fund.
Low-income working families have seen their employment rights reduced and tax credits cut.
The hated bedroom tax has pushed some of the poorest and most vulnerable people into poverty and others out of their family home.
Abolition of Council Tax Benefit has resulted in a more than *25% increase in the number of households summoned to court over unpaid Council Tax bills.
This is just the tip of the iceberg on how David Cameron’s government inflicted pain and misery on Britain’s poorest.
If this is what David Cameron calls being a “compassionate Conservative”, I hope we never get to see the real Tories. Some may argue we already have.
Source – Welfare Weekly, 07 Apr 2015
Teachers are being forced to bring food into school to feed hungry children, a North East union leader has warned.
Simon Kennedy, regional organiser of the teaching union NASUWT, said school-funded breakfast clubs and teachers bringing food into work was a “sad situation” for the fourth richest country in the world.
However, the Conservative Party said the number of children living in poverty in England and Wales has fallen by 300,000 during the party’s term in office.
Speaking after the NASUWT held its annual conference in Cardiff at the weekend, Mr Kennedy said child poverty has become a growing problem.
“Kids are coming into school hungry and that is affecting their educational attainment,” he said.
“Teachers are bringing food into work because these children would sometimes not otherwise eat.
“Schools are also dipping into their budgets to pay for breakfast clubs which were originally set up to encourage healthy eating among children.
“So many parents in the North East are relying on , especially in Newcastle which has the busiest foodbank in the country.
“Whichever government comes in needs to increase the amount of investment in education. But a basic part of our society should be to ensure that our children are fed. Children of today should not be left to go hungry.”
Teachers at the conference also raised the problem of excessive workload, which they say is not only damaging their mental health, but also driving talented teachers out of the profession.
Nearly 90% of teachers at the conference cited excessive workload as the greatest concern they have about their job.
Mr Kennedy said: “Many teachers work every evening and every weekend and they’re not being paid for it.
“There is this endless drive to improve and what’s best for the child and the teacher has gone out of the window.
“School management is being forced to focus more on the league tables and the next Ofsted inspection rather than the children’s needs.
“Increased workloads, coupled with a cut in pay for teachers, has led to many in the profession leaving work or suffering from mental health problems.
“Media coverage would have you think teachers are failing our young people in some way, but that couldn’t be further from the truth.”
Meanwhile, teachers have backed calls for a ballot on strike action over shortfalls to school funding.
The ballot motion was backed at the National Union of Teachers (NUT) conference in Harrogate, where members heard claims that funding shortages would threaten redundancies.
A Conservative spokesman said:
“Under the Conservatives, the number of children living in poverty has fallen by 300,000.
“Extending free meals has led to over a million more children eating a school meal at lunchtime and by introducing the Pupil Premium, we are targeting an extra £2.5 billion toward the education of the most disadvantaged every year, which helping close the attainment gap with their peers.
“Thanks to our policies, there are more jobs than ever before, wages are rising faster than prices and with the lowest inflation on record, family budgets are starting to go further. The NASUWT should recognise how the Conservatives have rescued the economy, and through that, are delivering the jobs that secure a better future for families.
“Our Child Poverty Strategy is tackling poverty at its source: dealing with the problems of worklessness and family breakdown which blight the lives of vulnerable families. But we know that there is much more to do. We need to stick to our long-term economic plan, so that all children have the best possible start in life.”
> All I can say is it’s a good thing Pinoccio isn’t a government spokesman…
Source – Newcastle Evening Chronicle, 08 Apr 2015
> More smear tactics, courtesy of the Daily Excess – “hunt down” all those benefit fraudsters who are the real cause of all ills. You know it makes sense (to Excess readers, anyway…)
The Government has brought together officials from the Department of Work and Pensions, the tax office and local authorities to tackle the crime.
The streamlined approach goes hand-in-hand with powers unveiled earlier this year to clamp down on benefit fraud, including using bailiffs to confiscate high-value possessions from convicted benefit cheats.
> Now there’s a tactic which would work better against all those tax-cheating individuals and companies… but somehow they never get around to them.
Minister for Welfare Reform Lord Freud said: “Reducing benefit fraud and error in the system is a crucial plank of our welfare reforms to make work pay and the system fairer for everyone.
“By bringing teams from local authorities and HMRC into our investigation service we will be able to build on the hard work we’ve already done to crack down on benefit fraud.
“Alongside this change, Universal Credit is expected to reduce losses due to fraud by £1billion in five years when it is fully in place across the country.”
> Ha ha ha – Universal Credit is the biggest benefit fraud of all, millions spent on it and it still doesn’t work. If they’d not embarked on it, there’d be plenty of money for benefits.
The new service went live in nine local authority areas on Tuesday July 1 and will be rolled out across the country in the autumn.
It started in Corby, Cornwall, Cardiff, Southampton, Oldham, Hillingdon, Wrexham, Blaenau Gwent and East Ayrshire.
Joint investigations between local authorities and the Government have already led to a string of convictions, including Alycia Mallett from Broxbourne in Hertfordshire who admitted falsely claiming £35,700 in benefits while working as an escort.
She was given eight weeks’ custody suspended for 12 months in April at Stevenage Crown Court.
Source – Daily Express, 04 July 2014
> NOT included in the Excess article –
Fiction: People believe that some 27% of the Welfare Budget is claimed as a result of fraud
Fact: The actual figure is 0.8 % whilst tax avoidance and evasion is estimated at anywhere from £30bn to £120bn.
The Week of Action Against Workfare begins today with actions across the UK and online scheduled over the next seven days.
The week has been called in response to mass unpaid work schemes such as Traineeships and comes in the month that Community Work Placements are set to be launched. These mandatory placements will mean unemployed people forced to work in at charities and in so-called community organisations for a period of six months.
In a huge embarrassment for Iain Duncan Smith, workfare’s biggest supporters The Salvation Army have already announced that this scheme is too exploitative even for them to stomach. The charity had been invited by the DWP to bid for a lucrative sub-contract to administer the placements. Other…
View original post 112 more words