Labour takes the initiative against ‘Tory Welfare Waste’


At long last, Labour has launched an attack on Coalition – particularly Conservative – ‘welfare’ policies. And it’s a strong one.

Perhaps the sustained criticism of shadow work and pensions secretary Rachel Reeves has done some good because her speech today (November 26) attacks the policies of her hopeless Conservative counterpart Iain Duncan Smith in many ways and on several levels – and on all those levels, it works.

The catchline is ‘Tory Welfare Waste’, which attacks not only Duncan Smith’s profligacy in wasting no less than £25 billion on his useless schemes, but also the waste of talent – especially that of young people ‘parked’ on benefits by his system – and of their time.

As Conor Pope writes in his LabourList article about the speech, “For a Government hell-bent on an austerity agenda with such a focus on making “benefit scroungers” pay, the amount of unnecessary money they’ve splashed out on their welfare policies is startling.

“Take the now infamous Universal Credit… the DWP had aimed to have a million people on the scheme by this point, yet are currently 982,150 behind that figure. The cost so far? A cool half a billion pounds.

“Bedroom Tax, too. Another policy that strikes society’s most disadvantaged hardest and does not prove cost effective: by pushing people out of the council houses they can no longer afford and into private housing, the housing benefit bill has exploded in many places.”

And new independent research shows that the Coalition has spent £5 billion more than it planned on tax credits over the course of this Parliament.

So the Conservative-led Coalition has overspent massively, both on failed policies and the state having to pick up the tab for companies who don’t pay their workers enough to get by. The failure to tackle low pay will cost another £1 billion in the current parliament.

While all this happens, of course, the Tories plan billions in tax cuts for people earning over £40,000 a year.

As Mr Pope concludes: “Whatever happened to the balanced budgets of tomorrow? The Tories… aren’t just wasting lives; they’re screwing the economy to do it.”

Follow me on Twitter: @MidWalesMike

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  1. martyn500 November 26, 2014 at 3:14 pm - Reply

    The people should not fear the Government, the Government should fear the people.

  2. laurettalottiepearson November 26, 2014 at 3:20 pm - Reply

    I’m sure in the eyes of the Tories it’s not a waste as it’s gone into the pockets of their donors and colleagues. Nothing is done by a Tory unless it benefits a Tory. Same with their safe seat areas. You don’t often see suffering there.

    • Wayne L November 26, 2014 at 4:57 pm - Reply

      Never a truer word said.

  3. Mr.Angry November 26, 2014 at 3:44 pm - Reply

    Mike at least it’s a positive move, she has not inspired voters by suggesting they may possibly pursue the tory reform in a similar fashion i.e. a review by the NAO into the proposed UC and may continue with it if they get the thumbs up. Voters have to know they will get rid of the failed WCA which has caused so much distress and suicides.

    She has to kick this much flawed system into the bushes it does not work not to mention the horrendous success rate in appeals and the cost of such.

    I am delighted to have read the NAO report today let us all hope the public will realize the tories are a total failure with no better feelings for the people they are supposed to serve.

    Bring it on Rachel.

  4. Yvonne De Carlo November 26, 2014 at 3:55 pm - Reply

    About fracking time. Where have they been the past 4 years?

    • Mike Sivier November 26, 2014 at 6:20 pm - Reply

      Probably doing a lot more than you credit to them! Search Vox Political for references to Labour.

  5. loobitzh November 26, 2014 at 4:44 pm - Reply

    where can Rachels’ speech be found/viewed, where did she do it?

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