Earlier this week in the House of Commons I spoke out against the Government’s Welfare Benefits Up-rating Bill, a Bill that does nothing to create jobs and punishes those in work.
Because the economy has flatlined, the Chancellor will be borrowing £212 billion more than he planned and its working families in the Rother Valley that will be paying the price of his economic failure.
The Prime Minister and Chancellor have tried to divide the country by dishonestly claiming that their welfare policies are targeting the work-shy and benefit ‘scroungers’. Their attempt to play politics has backfired though as the cuts they are making to tax credits and benefits will hit people who have a job and are working hard.
Make no mistake; while they are hitting striving families, they are giving a £3 billion tax cut to the very richest people in the country.
The best way to cut the benefits bill is to get people into work, not punish people who are already doing the right thing by working but are struggling to make ends meet. That is why we need an approach to welfare reform that is tough, fair and that works, with a compulsory jobs guarantee for long-term unemployed adults. This would guarantee that every adult who has been out of work for two years would be offered a job, which could be paid for by reducing the tax relief on the pensions of people who earn over £150,000. When times are tough it cannot be right that we subsidise the pension contributions of the top 2 per cent of earners at more than double the rate of people on average incomes paying the basic rate of tax.
The Government’s approach to welfare has shown them to be more interested in exploiting the challenges the country faces than solving them.