The Green Party has slammed the Conservatives for waging “war on welfare”, describing planned £12bn in welfare cuts as “kicking people when they are down”.
Green Party Work and Pensions spokesperson, Jonathan Bartley, said the Tories are threatening the future existence of the welfare state and criticised controversial benefit sanctions for making it “harder, not easier, to find a job”.
Mr Bartley added that David Cameron’s hint of an assault on tax credits “would take away a crucial lifeline which enables many people to stay in work”.
Responding to David Cameron’s speech on welfare earlier today, Mr Bartley said: “The Conservative war on welfare is incoherent, misguided and based on ideology rather than reality.
“Welfare is an investment which helps people to build a decent life, not something that ‘papers over the cracks with a veneer of fairness’.
“The social security of millions is being threatened in a way we haven’t seen since the modern welfare state was set up.
“The best way to help people into work is to support them, not kick them when they are down.
“Conservative sanctions are creating barriers and making it harder, not easier, to find a job. These sanctions should be scrapped, not extended to those claiming tax credits.
“Cutting tax credits would take away a crucial lifeline which enables many people to stay in work, while the shambolic new Universal Credit system also has an in-built disincentive to work. For every £100 someone on Universal Credit earns, £65 of support is lost.
“If the government wants to make work pay it should make the minimum wage a Living Wage. Not only would this save £2.4bn in tax credits, it would also raise £1.5bn in tax revenues.”
The number of in-work Housing Benefit claimants now stands at over 1.049 million, the highest figure on record. In May 2010, when this Government weren’t elected, the number claiming this benefit was just over 650,000.
Housing Benefit is probably the best indicator of how many people in the UK are poor. Available to those in or out of work, as well as pensioners, the only criteria are being a tenant on a low income and having low, or no, assets or savings. Even those with jobs on Housing Benefit will have a disposable income little higher than someone on out of work benefits, as the benefit is reduced as earnings rise*. All of the Housing Benefit bill goes to landlords, and the…
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According to IDS, figures showing that the number of self-employed workers has jumped by 600,000 is a sign of “entrepreneurial spirit” and proves that his bungled and reckless policies are working. What is really going on is very different and lays the foundation for an unemployment time bomb at the heart of Universal Credit.
Some of the rise in self-employment is almost certainly down to falling living standards. People who have taken early retirement are setting up small businesses in an effort to pay soaring bills, along with so-called mumpreneurs – parents forced out of the workplace due to huge childcare costs and shit wages. The rise of the internet has also allowed some of those who are unemployed to generate a…
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The answer is George Osborne, his parents, and everyone he knows. The same could be said about David Cameron, Nick Clegg, David Miliband and even Nigel Farage. And that is the reason why high earners with whopping savings are now presented as the norm in the UK – and the only people that matter to all of the main political parties.
The reality is that the average weekly wage is just over £500 a week, which doesn’t leave much room for an ISA if that’s all a family has to live on. Around 5 million people are paid below the living wage, and another five million or so live from hand to mouth on meagre benefits. Nearly six and a half million households…
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Overall unemployment has fallen over the most recent period, but this seems largely down to huge leap in the number of people who are self-employed. A whopping 211,000 more people became self-employed over the last three months – with the total number now hitting 4.46 million.
It is impossible to know whether these newly self-employed people are actually making any money or have simply switched their claim over to Working Tax Credits. Companies running the Work Programme are known to coerce claimants into self-employment, which not only means they are taken off the unemployment figures but also that those running Government welfare-to-work schemes can claim huge job outcome payments.
If just one in six self-employed people are failing to earn any real income then the true…
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That’s the astonishing claim made by the Daily Telegraph after focussing on a part of Iain Duncan Smith’s speech this week which went unreported elsewhere in the press and was not included in the transcript published by The Spectator.
According to The Telegraph: “Mr Duncan Smith indicated his party is preparing to review tax credits, which are paid to people on low incomes or with children. The system was introduced by Gordon Brown and has been criticised for subsidising low wages. They will cost £28bn this year, and the cost is forecast to rise £35bn by 2018/19.
He said the cash pushed people above an “arbitrary” poverty line on paper but failed to change their lives, and some “unproductive” people spent the extra money on drink and drugs rather than…
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100 ? Tip of the iceberg !
Reposted from The Green Benches
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