Paul and Sue Rutherford and their grandson Warren, pictured in the living room of their house [Image: Aled Llywelyn/Athena].

Paul and Sue Rutherford and their grandson Warren Todd, pictured in the living room of their house [Image: Aled Llywelyn/Athena].

In the UK, we live in a country where you can read that the Work and Pensions secretary has  pledged a ‘relentless focus’ on improving life chances and that the DWP is spending £100,000 on lawyers to fight a rape victim and the family of a severely disabled child. What does that tell us about our society?

It tells This Writer there is a world of difference between what Stephen Crabb calls “improving life chances” and what the rest of us do.

It also tells me that too many people are prepared to take his words at face value, rather than actually think for themselves and draw a conclusion based on the evidence.

The evidence in favour of “improving life chances” goes as follows (according to the Guardian article from which the comment is taken): “Financial support for people facing poverty is vital – and never, never underestimate the importance of a family in need getting that support in a timely and effective way,” according to Mr Crabb, although it should be borne in mind that he added: “But on its own, cash support is rarely enough.”

How does this square with his department spending £100,000 on lawyers to find a legal justification for removing financial support for people facing poverty due, in these cases, to the Conservative Government-imposed Bedroom Tax? What would it mean if the Tories won?

It would mean the rape victim, ‘A’, who would then be forced to pay the Bedroom Tax on her ‘panic’ room, would be unable to remain in her home – due to lack of money.

It would mean severely disabled Warren Todd, who has a rare genetic disorder that means he is unable to walk, talk or feed himself and is doubly incontinent, may be ejected from the three-bedroom bungalow that has been specially adapted for his care, with one of the bedrooms needed for carers who stay overnight and to store equipment.

In both these cases, the “life chances” of the individuals concerned would be hugely impaired.

Ah, but under the Conservatives’ rules, both ‘A’ and the Rutherfords are under-occupying their homes, and therefore must pay the tax on the extra rooms, right? This brings in valuable cash for the government, to help pay off the National Deficit or whatever excuse they’re using this week.

Except the total saved on the ‘panic’ room, for example, is £11.65 per week. Add in the Rutherfords and it’s probably around £25 – against a Tory Government legal spend of £100,000.

That is massively disproportionate.

What can we conclude, other than that Stephen Crabb is either deluded or disingenuous about the purpose of current DWP policies?

They don’t provide support in a “timely and effectual way”, they don’t “improve life chances” and they don’t even save any money – in fact, they cost a fortune.

Can you describe what the Conservatives are really doing? Mr Crabb seems to need the help!

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