It seems that the Tories never meant to go through with their threat of £12 billion in cuts to the social security budget after all.
The Observer is reporting that they always expected to be able to water down the pledge in coalition negotiations with some other party (and then probably blame that party when the economy goes belly-up again in a few months’ time).
Now they don’t have that option and – to maintain their claim to power – they have to say that the public has demanded that these cuts go through in full. This has created an issue for the Secretary of State for Disability Genocide, Iain Duncan Smith:
One ally of Duncan Smith told the Observer that a major problem had been that key figures did not expect to have to implement such heavy hits on welfare spending, assuming the pledge could be watered down during coalition negotiations with the Liberal Democrats.
Now that the Tories are in government with a majority, the source claimed Duncan Smith was standing firm against attempts to slice off bits of his budget to fund a series of giveaways, including slashing inheritance tax and raising the 40p tax threshold to benefit people on twice the national average wage.
Let’s just highlight these giveaways, for a moment. Raising the 40p tax threshold to benefit people on twice the national average wage. Party of the workers? Slashing inheritance tax for those who have anything to inherit. Party of the workers?
“You have two sides of the ledger – the cuts and the giveaways – and people didn’t think they would have to go through with them,” one source said. “Iain Duncan Smith was surprised when the cuts were first announced in January, and that tells you where the push-back in government on this is now.”
You would be ill-advised to believe a word of it. The Gentleman Ranker (new nickname devised by Beastrabban) will feud with George Osborne over it because there’s a personal enmity between them, but his hatred for anyone who has fallen on hard times is far greater.
This blog advises anyone on benefits to get in touch with others in the same position living nearby. Form into groups of four or five and arrange to meet on a regular basis. If any members of your group fall on hard times, then you all do what you can to relieve any immediate issues and to get help.
Protect yourselves – because a Conservative government won’t help anybody but the extremely rich.