Be careful what you wish for!
Let us hope that the Great British Public wake up, and realise what is being legislated in their name.
- Why is the the cost of benefits currently exceeding the Government’s plans? Surely, it cannot be because the wholeConDem scenario has gone whoopsie?
Now consider todays’s Second reading of the Welfare Benefits Up-rating Bill:
- The Resolution Foundation has calculated that 68 per cent of households affected by the measures are in work.
- The Institute for Fiscal Studies show that all the measures announced in the Autumn Statement, including those in the Bill, will mean a single-earner family with children on average will be £534 worse off by 2015.
- The Bill does not include anything to remedy the deficiencies in the Government’s work programme or the slipped timetable for universal credit.
- Should there be a comprehensive plan to reduce the benefits bill?
- Should it include measures to create economic growth and help the 129,400 adults over the age of 25 out of work for 24 months or more?
- Should the Bill should introduce a compulsory jobs guarantee, to give long-term unemployed adults a job they would have to take up or lose benefits? This could be funded by limiting tax relief on pension contributions for people earning over £150,000 to 20 per cent.
- Is the Bill unfair, at a time when the rich are receiving a further bunce, and an additional rate of income tax is being reduced? This will result in those earning over a million pounds per year receiving an average tax cut of over £100,000 a year.
Most of that is taken, verbatim, from the Labour amendment to Iain Duncan Smith’s Make Labour Look Like the Party for Skiving Fat Slobs bill [© Andrew Rawnsley].
Malcolm confidently predicts that, outside a small circle of friends (the Barclay brothers and their Daily Telegraph, Daily Mail, the Murdoch lie-machine), this little Osborne ploy may quickly go sour. It will certainly poison the whole North/South division of British society, and may even do for the devolution debate what Thatcher’s Poll Tax did for the rise of the SNP.
But then, by 2015, the Tory Party may well have ceased to exist outside the plush leafy suburbs and the county areas with equestrian properties.