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.

 

Lib-Dem/Tory collaboration in Euro-chaos? Watch this space!

18th ~December 2011

Our attention has been drawn to this news-link to our report of 11th December, 2011.

http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2011/12/18/aidan-burley-sacked-nazi-stag-party_n_1156089.html?icid=maing-grid7%7Cuk%7Cdl1%7Csec1_lnk2%7C88979

11th December 2011

In a spectacular collapse of unity (not that its ‘unity’ was ever all that strong) the Tory-led Coalition with the LibDems seems today to be in deep crisis.  Is Cameron now desperate to placate the Right Wing of the Tory Party?  By advocating the interests of the City of London as a key part of his theme he at least appears to be ‘on line’ with the bankers.

Err ….

  • Wasn’t it the millionaire bankers whose activities caused the world economic crash in the first place?
  • Aren’t there rather a lot of millionaires in Cameron’s Tory-led cabinet?
  • Doesn’t the Tory Party get rather a lot of funding from that sort of ‘club’?

And haven’t the bankers and financiers been investing UK industrial profits in the low-wage economies of the far east for decades, ever since the British de-industrialisation and export of formerly UK jobs during the previous Tory governments – with devastating effects on areas like Seacombe where manufaturing industry has suffered so much?

And what are the press saying about it?  Not much unanimity there, nor comfort for the Tory-led coalition – as today’s headlines show.

"Yes Cameron got it right" screams the The Mail on Sunday

"Oh no he didn't - It's a spectacular failure" quotes the (perhaps rather more up-market) 'Independent'.

Meanwhile this page 6 story needs no comment to show how prone some Tory MPs are to shooting their party in its Right foot.

There may well be groans of dismay all over the country from those Tory Party supporters who turn to the ‘Mail’ for a bit of a lift.   This story naming a British Tory MP, and the events related, with a picture of him with David Cameron as well, may not do much to persuade the Germans and French that all is as sweet as it may have seemed when Tory Prime Minister Ted Heath took us into the EEC (or EU as it now is) in 1973.
Anyone who can read on as far as pages 12 and 13 of the ‘Mail on Sunday’ will then find a strident lampoon of LibDem leader Nick Clegg which screams “Humiliation of Nick Clegg” with a photo of the poor chap looking rather sad and the comment “Nick Clegg is facing growing LibDem dissent.”  Not much comfort for the Tories in that, though.  Right next to it is another article ‘Brooding Europhile Clarke to confront Cameron tomorrow”.  It seems that one-time Tory leadership hopeful Ken Clarke is set for “… a potentially explosive meeting with David Cameron tomorrow.”
Oh dear, we always knew the LibDem/Tory marriage could not be a happy one.
But will it end in divorce and a general election?  Probably not;  the Lib Dems could just walk away leaving Labour to try to form a minority administration; or they could ask for a coalition with Labour instead.  But it’s unlikely they would want a general election even if the law (as they helped the Tories to change it) would now precipitate a general election – after all the poor old LibDems would probably be wiped out, and they’d hardly want that!

TUC research ridicules Tory propaganda myths – as Bank of England questions the private banks’ approach

7th March 2011         

Whilst comments from the Governor of the Bank of England show many leading banks in a poor light the latest TUC research leaves Tory propaganda claims in tatters.      

Tory myth no 1:  “Government debt is the highest it has ever been”.  The truth:  The UK’s debt is lower now than it was during most years of the twentieth century.  Just 6p in every pound of spending went on paying off debt last year, compared to 8p in 1996.   Labour took over from them – with a legacy of crumbling schools to rebuild, hospitals to rebuild, and long queues for patients to be admitted.  Of course borrowing to rebuild the country after decline during Mrs Thatcher’s Tory governments was necessary – and you don’t have to be very bright to know that 6p in the pound is less than 8p in the pound.        

Tory economics inspiration source?

 

There’s an old saying:  ‘Sins can be forgiven, but stupidity is for ever.’         

But the British people are not stupid.  Aren’t the Tories insulting the intelligence of the British people with their propaganda?        

Tory myth no 2:  “Britain’s debt is worse than other countries.”  The truth: Our debt is lower than that of France, Germany, Canada, the USA, and many other leading countries hard hit by the world wide bankers’ collapse. (See the chart at the foot of this page.)  In fact the IMF (International Monetary Fund) figures reveal that Britain’s debt as a proportion of GDP is the lowest in the wealthy G7 group of countries.         

Tory myth  no 3:  “We have delivered the first 0% council tax.”  The truth:  Oh dear!  Memory loss so soon?  Perhaps they should get out more!  Don’t they remember  Labour’s 0% Council tax right here on Wirral?      And that was a Labour decision.  But on this occasion the Tories had virtually no choice as it was governed by the central governmen’st restrictions and potential detriments if they did any different. In fact councils all over the country have no effective choice other than to impose a ‘zero’ Council tax change.   But do the Wirral ConDems want you to believe it was all their own decision?         

 

'We have a plan. We know the right cuts to make!'

 

 Tory myth no 4:  “We have a plan: if we don’t make massive cuts we will face economic disaster.”  The truth:  In fact deep cuts could damage the fragile recovery.  Workers who fear for their jobs will cut back on spending.  Those who lose their jobs entirely will not be spending much at all.  Local shops and businesses will suffer from the loss of trade.  As unemployment rises fewer people pay income tax, even those who do pay less, and the Government’s tax-income will fall at the same time that they have to fork out more in unemployment and other benefits.  The Tory ‘economics of the madhouse’ defies cost-benefit analysis for the wider economy and pours more and more public money into non-productive unemployment  benefits, and other benefits, to people who could otherwise be gainfully employed          

Tory myth no 5:  “The cuts will be fair.  We are all in this together.”  The truth:   The Tory cuts hit the low paid more – far more – than those on high incomes.  They hit low paid women more than low paid men.  They hit the North of England far more than the South and South East of England.           

Tory myth no 6:  ” We know the right direction for recovery – we are dealing with excess bank profits”  The Truth:  Bankers and finance speculators continue to award themselves millionaire ‘bonuses’.  The Super-rich big companies continue to orchestrate  tax avoidance through legal means.    But the loss to the country is more than  £40 billion a year.  If enough tax collection staff were employed, rather than being put at risk of redundancy, it is estimated that this tax loss could be halved.   

The 'right direction' for recovery?

 

And the banks and the financiers of ‘the City’ have been shocked by the Governor of the Bank of England’s questioning of their approach to the world crisis in which the banks led the world into crash.  

The Tories and ConDems are profoundly embarrassed by his view that the banks may even now, when the Tories are going so easy on them, be moving into the same mistakes that tipped the scales  in 2008/9.      

    

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

The illustration shows that following measures taken by a Labour Government the UK emerged from the bankers' world collapse with lower debt than most of the world's richest countries. The Tory cuts are in line with their ideology of protecting the interests of the very rich.

 

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