Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/756/16296
Welfare Reform Act will impoverish hundreds of thousands
Next month sees the implementation of much of the coalition's Welfare Reform Act as they ramp up their relentless and brutal ideological attack on the welfare state.
This 'simplification' of the benefits system is not about providing a better system or improved support for vulnerable citizens.
This year the government wants to cut £18 billion from the welfare bill through the introduction of Universal Credit, capping families' benefit entitlement, cuts to housing benefit, incapacity and disability benefits and tax credits. This will drive hundreds of thousands of unemployed and working poor families further into poverty.
A study of councils estimated that 133,000 households in London, where rents are sky high and where the £500 benefit cap is set to be piloted in four boroughs in April, will no longer be able to afford their rent if the changes are implemented.
The government has made full use of its allies in the right-wing media running scandalous 'benefit scrounger' stories at every opportunity. Meanwhile the real scroungers in big business, the likes of Starbucks and Amazon along with the rest, dodge an estimated £120 billion in tax every year. Collecting this would wipe out a massive chunk of the annual deficit.
As the true scale of the cuts begin to sink in with mass redundancies across both private and public sectors, foodbanks, soup kitchens and emergency breakfast provision in schools are becoming the disgraceful and growing norm.
We need mass campaigns involving whole communities, benefit claimants, workers, young people and backed up by the weight of the trade unions to defend the benefit rights won by movements in the past.
In The Socialist 13 March 2013:
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