Crisis fund scrapped as cabinet puts the weight on councils

George Osborne has had his way after all, in his bid to end funding for ‘local welfare assistance provision’ – the safety-net fund for people hit by floods, fire, domestic violence or a shortage of food or money. But the way the decision has been described seems to have wrong-footed even campaigning organisation 38 Degrees. Rather than continue the £170 million fund with money from central government, council’s are being asked to put money towards a (reduced) fund of £130 million – from their own reduced budgets. It is therefore…

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Lower than vermin: Osborne plans end to crisis fund for the vulnerable

A safety-net fund for people hit by floods, fire, domestic violence or a shortage of food or money is to be axed if George Osborne has his way. Local welfare assistance provision – a Coalition policy designed to provide help to tens of thousands of people on low incomes who are pitched into sudden difficulty – currently takes just £180 million from the national budget. This is a tiny amount compared with – for example – the £1.5 billion spent on Michael Gove’s ‘Free Schools’ vanity project. It seems a plan has been…

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DWP debate highlights Duncan Smith’s failure to perform

“This particular Secretary of State, along with his Department, is pushing people through [the] cracks and hoping that the rest of the country will not notice that they have disappeared.” – Glenda Jackson MP, June 30, 2014. Yesterday’s Parliamentary debate on the performance of the Department for Work and Pensions under Iain Duncan Smith was more like a trial, with witnesses lining up to condemn the accused. If the man this blog likes to call RTU (Returned To Unit) thought he would be able to show that his behaviour had…

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Osborne promising full employment – is this an April Fool?

The answer has to be in the affirmative. Conservatives can’t promise full employment because it simply isn’t part of their philosophy. As this blog has stated many times, Tories need a discontented underclass fermenting away beneath the lowest-paid members of the working class, in order to create the level of fear necessary to keep wages down. The argument is that a person will not ask for a pay rise if they know their boss will turn around and say, “There are hundreds out there who will work for less than…

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Cameron’s ‘mission’ is morally bankrupt

When David Cameron stands up in all his hypocrisy and tells you that tearing apart the basic safety net that guaranteed people would not be left in hunger or destitution is part of his “moral mission”, even die-hard Tories should agree that the country has taken a turn for the worse. When he defends an administration that has become so punitive that applicants who don’t get it right have to wait without food for months at a time, by claiming he is doing “what is right”, even die-hard Tories should…

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Church v (Secretary-in-a-) State over social ‘reform’

Does anybody else have the feeling that Vincent Nichols, the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Westminster, was only waiting for the Pope to name him a Cardinal-designate before sinking his teeth into the UK’s Conservative-led Coalition government? One gets the impression he feels secure that the new position means his words now carry sufficient weight – and they are weighty words indeed. “People do understand that we do need to tighten our belts and be much more responsible and careful in public expenditure,” said the Archbishop to the Telegraph. “But I think what…

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Survey boosts ‘divide and rule’ agenda – and hate crime

“I don’t know if anyone’s listened to the news/checked the papers today, but I’m sickened (although not surprised) the Tories are stepping up their hatred campaign against immigrants and the unemployed, by publishing exaggerated and out-of-context statistical reports. All they’re doing is fuelling racism and lack of compassion to get small minded people to support their agenda. Outrageous.” That was the response of Alex – a very non-political friend of mine – to the data from NatCen Social Research today, that claimed people want to see less spending on welfare…

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