Tory/LibDem fuse smoulders towards 6th April explosion. Huge protests are led by the Labour Party, the Trade Unions, Charities, and now also Church leaders, across the UK

Updated 29th March 2013 to include link to practical ‘Direct Action’ proposals by Frank Field, MP

Here on Wirral our Labour Councillors’ Deputy Leader, Cllr George Davies, (below, right) has in the past few days met representatives of no fewer than 47 tenants’ groups, together with professional officers, to answer questions on the devastation they fear will follow in the wake of the government’s so called “Welfare Reforms”.

The Tory-led collaboration government is set to axe a further £18 billion from Britain’s overall welfare budget from April 6th.   This assault on the incomes of the most vulnerable in the UK takes place whilst the very rich receive insultingly fat increases in their own wealth – through the government’s huge reductions in their tax bills, on what are widely regarded as already obscenely high incomes.

Following George’s highly successful meeting residents are now advised to contact their local councillors or MP if they have outstanding queries.  Your Seacombe, Liscard, New Brighton, and Leasowe Councillors are heavily loaded with requests for help from a wide range of residents who already cannot cope.   It became very evident as George’s meeting progressed that the effects on our residents will be felt strongly by May or June as the effect of huge falls in benefits bite hard.

Seacombe’s Cllr Adrian Jones is presently helping a stream of tenants who are in real difficulties over the family-damaging Bedroom Tax.

THE TORY BEDROOM TAX.    This will have a devastating effect on thousands of residents all over the UK.  In our wards, where there is great financial deprivation, unemployment, and many with only the state pension to survive on, the effects will be especially cruelly felt.  Under the so called “reforms” 100,000 people will lose their right to sickness benefit and more than 50,000 disabled people will face losing payments.

BIRKENHEAD MP, FRANK FIELD,  WEIGHS IN WITH “DIRECT ACTION” PROPOSALS. In a debate on cuts in housing benefit for social tenants with unoccupied bedrooms the former welfare minister urged landlords to knock down walls.

He said: “I hope landlords will brick up the doors to spare bedrooms and, where appropriate, knock down walls so that the properties can safely fit the tenants. I have never before asked for direct action.  I do so now because I feel that the measures are grossly unfair. In more than three decades I have never debated such a vicious cut. Even if most people wished to do what the Government want them to do they would be unable to do it.”   For a full report on Frank Field’s statement follow the “Echo” link below:

http://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/liverpool-news/local-news/2013/03/28/birkenhead-mp-frank-field-urges-landlords-to-knock-down-walls-in-row-over-bedroom-tax-100252-33074520/

THE OFFICIAL VOICE OF THE NORTHERN TUC:  In the north of England TUC sources warned that the region’s most vulnerable people are being driven into deeper poverty.  A north-east region TUC spokesperson said: “The only growth sector here is food banks and soup kitchens.”

Yorkshire TUC regional secretary Bill Adams said: “All across Yorkshire and Humberside people are worried sick about next month’s welfare changes and how they’ll cope.  Our region is taking a battering from this coalition’s damaging austerity measures while the richest earners in society, including the bankers who caused this crisis, are queuing up for their tax cuts from George Osborne.”

All of these comments, from across the North of England could apply with equal force here in our own Wards in Wallasey.

One newspaper columnist summs it up:“If the government’s aim was to make the poorest people and the poorest regions even poorer, then they are succeeding.”

Here in the North-West, which suffers some of Britain’s worst levels of unemployment, NORTH WEST TUC regional secretary Lynn Collins said: “This region has suffered more than most, but the stark reality is that the worst is yet to come.  We have only had only 20 per cent so far of the cuts planned by the coalition government.  The cuts to welfare on April 6th will make the poor pay for the mess the banks have created.”

North East TUC regional secretary Kevin Rowan said: “The impending cuts, on top of already severe reductions in welfare payments, will drive the most vulnerable people into even deeper poverty.  The government is to axe a further £18 billion from Britain’s overall welfare budget from April 6th.”

Meanwhile Church Leaders, who usually steer clear of politics, have felt obliged to join the “Crusade” as The head of the Roman Catholic Church in England and Wales, the Most Reverend Vincent Nichols, slammed the Coalition’s £18 billion welfare cuts.

It is reported that in a letter to work and pensions secretary Iain Duncan Smith, Rev. Nichols wrote:

“As you know, some estimates that have already appeared in the media suggest 40,000 families may be rendered homeless. If this were indeed the case it would surely be a perverse result of policies aimed at reducing dependency of the ‘benefits culture’, since emergency support would immediately need to be put in place.

“In some areas of Westminster, it is being suggested that one in six children may have to move home (and probably move school), while in Maida Vale the effects may force up to 43 per cent of households to move. We fear that the cost of this may be felt most by vulnerable families, whose support networks may rapidly disappear in the process.”

Rowan Williams, the Church of England Arch Bishop of Canterbury at the time,  was quoted in the ‘Daily Telegraph, as long ago as 7th November 2010 as saying: 

People who are struggling to find work and struggling to find a secure future are, I think, driven further into a downwards spiral of uncertainty, even despair, when the pressure is on in that way.  It can make people who start feeling vulnerable feel more vulnerable.  People are often in this starting place not because they are wicked or stupid or lazy but because circumstances have been against them.  To drive that spiral deeper does seem a great problem.”

Hilary Benn MP, Labour’s Shadow Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, responding to a Joseph Rowntree Foundation Report showing more than two million of the poorest households in England will pay more council tax from next week because of council tax benefit changes, said:
“Families are facing a double tax hit next week at the same time as millionaires get a tax cut. “The hated bedroom tax and this new poll tax, targeting those on the lowest incomes for an increase in council tax, are unfair and will hurt hundreds of thousands of families around the country, including many working families.”

Watch this space for more news on Wirral Labour’s opposition to the Tory attacks on low and middle-income people.

 

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Comments

  1. Paul from Wallasey says:

    This sounds more like poverty taxes!
    Rampant inflation has already cut wages & Benifits.

    It’s not all ‘doom and gloom’! The rich get a tax cut!!!

    Seems only the poor have to pay tax, to keep the rich in their finery.

    I wonder what other “tax” they can hit the poor with!

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