Social security, or welfare, payments are about to be drastically reduced. Or “reformed”, in the language used by the government. TONY NEWMAN, leader of the opposition Labour group on the council, highlights how those changes are likely to impact Croydon residents
On April 1 (and sadly I am not joking), 15,820 Croydon residents will be hit hard by the cruel policies of this Tory-led government. A combination of the Bedroom Tax, cuts to Council Tax benefit and other welfare changes will see many of those on the lowest incomes hit hardest by the coalition; these changes come in on the same day millionaires get a tax cut worth £100,000, a truly shameful state of affairs.
Of those on housing benefit, 60 per cent are in employment and the vast majority of others are either seeking work, are elderly or disabled. Yet the Tories have taken a handful of extreme cases, where particularly high benefits have been paid, and used them to implement policies that demonise vast swathes of hard-working, decent and honest people.
The only good news is that, if the opinion polls are to be believed, these policies are fooling nobody.
Remember it was only a month ago that local Conservative MP Gavin Barwell was holding meetings in the Town Hall telling anyone who cared to listen that the government’s policy on the Bedroom Tax was correct. Yet now, as with the police station closures which he has also backed, you can’t get a word out of him.
The loss of £30 a week clearly won’t affect David Cameron. It probably won’t affect the Barwell family budget either. But if you are a lone parent, if you’re frail or elderly and on a pension or a low income, or if you have recently lost your job, then you are about to be punished by this government where it hurts most, in the pocket.
All of this occurs in the week that Inside Croydon first exposed our local Tory council as spending £3.4 million on furniture and fittings for their controversial new HQ offices.
You simply could not make it up.
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- Conservative MP Gavin Barwell in ‘date Arab girls’ Twitter gaffe (metro.co.uk)
- You’ve been ad, mate: Tory MP in blunder over ‘Arab dating’ adverts (mirror.co.uk)
- ‘Bedroom tax means I’ll have to survive on £6 a day’ (socialistworker.co.uk)