Tory “austerity” causes: “The United Kingdom’s household debt time-bomb”

Seacombe Labour Councillors’ latest motion, on household debt, was presented to council and carried on Monday 11th December 2017 – close on the heels of our previous motion on Universal Credit.
Notice of Motion – ‘The United Kingdom’s household debt time-bomb.’
Moved by Cllr Adrian Jones, seconded by Cllr Paul Stuart

Moved by Cllr Adrian Jones

Council notes that in once prosperous Wirral hardship is increasing, food-banks can scarcely keep up with need, and the government’s withdrawal of central funding is set to significantly increase poverty throughout the Borough.
The Chancellor appears to think that there are no unemployed, more jobs are being created, and the economy is sound. However, in an increasingly low-wage ‘gig economy’ the continuing Tory/LibDem austerity policy continues to increase poverty through wage-depression whilst food-price inflation, housing costs, and increasing travel costs inexorably drive millions of low-income families and individuals (who may be in work or not in work) into unsustainable household debt. Many who are in paid employment earn so little that they qualify for benefits – a transfer payment of funds from the public purse to subsidise a low-wage “austerity” culture. Council notes that the present UK generation still anticipate becoming the first to receive lower life-time earnings than their parents and to be unlikely ever to earn enough to become home-owners.

Seconded by Cllr Paul Stuart

The rapid expansion of private debt was recognised as early as 2015 when Ian Duncan Smith’s right wing ‘think tank’ warned that household debt had risen by more than £34 billion in less than three years and stood at £1.47 trillion – the highest ever recorded. Almost nine million people were ‘over indebted’ through credit card borrowing, bank overdrafts, and pay-day loans. The IDS findings are vindicated by the JP Morgan Chase Foundation’s research, revealing that as many as fifteen million UK people are now in serious debt just trying to pay their ordinary living bills. The extent of hardship is illustrated in Wirral’s formerly prosperous shopping centres where major retailers are closing to be replaced increasingly by charity shops and pawn-broking businesses, and by the dependency of so many people (including many who are in paid employment) on charities and food banks.

Supported by Cllr Chris Jones

Council calls on this ‘hard-right’ government, that inflicts needless hardship onto the most vulnerable people of Wirral and the UK, whilst fattening the wallets of the very rich, to accept it is failing and let the people judge its credibility through an early general election.
Council agrees to write to the Chancellor of the Exchequer and ask him to recognise the growing problem of household debt on the poorest families on Wirral and to reconsider his welfare policies.

It is a time of year for goodwill. Does the government know that? There are many in Wirral, and especially in Seacombe, who won’t experience much of it.

3rd December 2017

From the Left – Courtney, Kaitlin & Paul.

How many will recognise these local Seacombe charity activists and supporters? Very much seeing the need for it, at time when government policies leave more and more people in increasing hardship, and seem anything but charitable, Cllr Paul Stuart and two of his daughters joined Liverpool’s famous ‘Santa dash’.
Paul said “There’s something profoundly wrong when one of the richest countries on earth has so many people suffering hunger, poverty, homelessness and lack of hope. Charity will never be the solution – and I think there’s not much of it from this government – but events like this not only do just a little bit to help but also demonstrate that people care enough to do something practical themselves.

A huge turnout – showing that a lot of people care a great deal.

Wirral Labour ready for a general election – bring it on!

A first class turnout for today’s door-knocking and leaflet distribution

With the Tory government more divided than at any time in living memory,in chaotic disarray over Brexit, and continuing to punish the most vulnerable in our society with the enormity of the cruel manner of “Universal Credit” introduction, it’s time for them to accept that the future should be put in the hands of the People with a general election following the inconclusive result of June 2017.