Socialist Worker

Claimants lose out in benefits vote

by Dave Sewell
Issue No. 2336

MPs voted last week for a real term cut to most working age benefits by scrapping the link with inflation. It could leave some people as much as £215 a year worse off.

This comes just months before massive attacks from last year’s Welfare Reform Act come into force in April.

Thousands of disabled people are set to lose out when they are moved from disability living allowance to the new PIP benefit, with much harsher criteria for mobility.

Social housing tenants deemed to be under-occupying their homes will be forced out.

And the first trials of the new universal credit benefit cap will begin, ahead of a national rollout in October.

But the Tories’ divisive rhetoric that pits benefit claiming “skivers” against hard working “strivers” has backfired.

Leading coalition MPs are rushing to distance themselves.

Julian Goodfellow, a volunteer at the Citizen’s Advice Bureau in Caerphilly, South Wales, told Socialist Worker that, “Everything a Tory tells you is a lie. All the politicians are only in it for themselves.”

Far from living the high life, many of those on benefits face real financial hardship.

“We already see lots of people in trouble with their benefits,” added Julian. “Debt is one of the biggest problems. And it’s getting worse now, it’s growing.

“Medical practitioners have said that austerity is increasing mental illness due to stress, fear and anxiety. That leads onto problems with alcohol and drugs. It’s something we see everyday.”

Activists plan campaign meeting

A Benefits Justice campaign organising meeting hosted by Defend Council Housing and Disabled People Against Cuts will be held on Saturday of next week. The PCS and Unite unions are backing the meeting. It takes place at Unite House, 128 Theobald’s Road, London WC1X 8TN (nearest tube Holborn)

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Article information

Tue 15 Jan 2013, 16:32 GMT
Issue No. 2336
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