Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page:

From The Socialist newspaper, 23 February 2011

Welfare Bill - Tories launch assault on the vulnerable

Workers and their families marched to Trafalgar Square on the trade union backed Save the Welfare State and Public Services demo, called by the National Pensioners Convention , photo Paul Mattsson

Workers and their families marched to Trafalgar Square on the trade union backed Save the Welfare State and Public Services demo, called by the National Pensioners Convention , photo Paul Mattsson   (Click to enlarge)

JANE IS in her 40s. Arthritis, heart disease, constant pain and a host of other problems led to her early retirement. She lives on benefits - primarily Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for her care and mobility needs, and Incapacity Benefit. Now, the government's proposals for changes in DLA, hidden away in their Welfare Reform Bill on universal credit, mean that all her benefits are at risk.

Tony Aitman

Immediately she will see a cut of 20% in her DLA. New proposals for people on Incapacity Benefit mean that, as her partner works, she can lose her benefits after a year.

The Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) chief executive has called this restriction of benefit to a year "a betrayal". Why pay national insurance for years if it means nothing when you need help and assistance?

Betrayal indeed. While benefits are being cut, those advisers who provide what is often the last line of defence for the poorest in society have seen their funding slashed, with CAB redundancies and closures across the country. Small wonder that over 30 CAB workers marched against cuts, along with community groups across the city, in Liverpool on 20 February.

While some will gain from the government proposals, for the majority - over 1.75 million households - disaster lies ahead. Most will see a reduction in their benefit of 25 a week; over 100,000 will lose more than 75 a week.

Most pernicious is the cap on welfare payments of 500 a week. The government's own figures showed that 50,000 households are receiving more than this amount in benefits - 26,000 a year compared with average pay of 25,500 - although the Joseph Rowntree Foundation's figures show that a couple with four children need 41,300 a year for an acceptable standard of living.

This cap will have a disastrous effect on families with more than two children. Inevitably, this will lead to family break-up and poverty.

Family break-up and being forced to move will come from the housing benefit proposals, too. Housing benefit is being capped, with 1.4 million households losing out. The Department for Work and Pensions estimates that the cap on housing benefit will see 50,000 households lose an average of 93 a week, leading inexorably to evictions and homelessness.

For the 680,000 who are set to lose an average of 13 a week in housing benefit because their homes are deemed to be 'too large', evictions and family break-up are the only prospects.

The idea that you can get people off benefit and into work by reducing their benefit is laughable at a time when there are closures, job cuts and redundancies everywhere - what jobs are there for them to go to?

The issue shouldn't be about reducing benefit to force people into work, but raising wage levels so that people can have a decent standard of living.

This government, that represents the rich and big business, clearly sees its first priority as attacking the poor, rather than improving conditions at work at the expense of profit levels.

However, it remains the fact that this government is weak and riven with dissension. Recently it has been forced into humiliating climbdowns, including the reversal of its policy of ending the Financial Inclusion Fund (which pays for specialist debt advisers).

Massive campaigning over the past weeks has helped deliver these defeats.

If this campaigning is built on, not only can a reversal of policy be won, but, as with the mass anti-poll tax campaign which defeated the tax and led to Thatcher's departure, we can force this government out.

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.

In The Socialist 23 February 2011:

Anti-cuts campaign

Public services: Not For Sale!

International socialist news and analysis

Region-wide revolution of the Arab people

Socialist Party youth and students

Hands off our future!

March for Jobs October 2011

Youth unemployment: No return to the 1930s!

Socialist Party news and analysis

Welfare Bill - Tories launch assault on the vulnerable

Lewisham by-election: back the socialist alternative

Manchester council's special pleading petition

Fast News

Socialist Party feature

Opposing all cuts: Thousands march across England and Wales

Housing crisis

Housing - no trust in private investors


Victory for Huddersfield anti-academy campaign

Scotland: defending teachers' jobs

Balham: NUT strike against academies

Socialist Party workplace news

Support the Remploy workers

Council workers face pay freeze

Defend victimised union reps


Home   |   The Socialist 23 February 2011   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate  

Related links:


triangleChesterfield Socialist Party: The fight for the welfare state

triangleChild poverty set to hit 5.2m - unions and Corbyn must act now

triangleUniversal Credit chaos: Tories punish the poor

triangleYoung people being strangled by debts

triangleMajor attacks 'Universal Credit', half a million more face poverty


triangleCabinet chaos as shambolic reshuffle underlines Theresa May's impotence

triangleSustained mass movement needed to stop Tories wrecking our NHS

triangleThousands live in tents and sheds - seize empty homes

triangleUni market 'failure', two-year degrees - end cuts, scrap fees!


triangleTory prescription for mental illness: stress and bureaucracy

triangleTwo in five 'right to buy' homes now for let

triangleWaltham Forest Universal Credit protest

Housing benefit:

triangleTories u-turn on social housing benefit cap and borrowing to build

triangleFight expansion of disastrous 'Universal Credit' welfare system


triangleHeating scandal on east London estate


triangleSix months on - still no justice for Grenfell

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns



Sudan: Free Mohamed Satti



Women rally defiantly



Red Mary - a Force of Nature



Socialist Party women's meeting brings together members to share experiences



Packed Newham meeting against academies



Lobby pushes Liverpool council to oppose privatisation



Heating scandal on east London estate



Undercover policing legal challenge



No to the Woolwich monster block



Workplace news in brief



PCS union 2018 elections - nominate the left slate for a continued fighting leadership



Hackney school cleaners strike



RMT strikes against driver-only operation continue



Ferrybridge: Workers down tools over unpaid wages



We must fight all council cuts!

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...

Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party

triangle22 Jan Women rally defiantly

triangle22 Jan Red Mary - a Force of Nature

triangle17 Jan Corbyn's Labour needs 100% anti-cuts strategy and fight for democracy

triangle17 Jan NHS crisis: under pressure from all angles - end cuts and sell-offs!

triangle17 Jan We must fight all council cuts!

triangle16 Jan Home care workers to strike

triangle15 Jan Carillion crisis: Demand action to save jobs and services

More ...

triangle23 Jan Bristol North Socialist Party: 'You can't have capitalism without racism' - was Malcolm X correct?

triangle23 Jan Cardiff West Socialist Party: How the Poll Tax was beaten

triangle24 Jan Caerphilly Socialist Party: The Carillion scandal

triangle24 Jan Cardiff Central Socialist Party: Carillion collapse - Watershed moment for public services

More ...

Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube



January 2018






















Platform setting: = No platform choice