FactCheck: the truth about welfare cuts(7 Posts)
Where will the axe fall? It’s the biggest question in politics right now, as ministers drop hints as to which bit of the welfare budget they are going to target in a bid to cut public spending by £12bn.
Tax credits? Housing benefit? Benefits for the disabled? We still don’t know exactly where the cuts will come, but we can FactCheck some of the statements made by politicians in recent days.
In discussions about welfare, facts aren't really welcome. Nor much use. Far better to have an inexhaustible supply of prejudice, bile, and (if you sneak it in without too many people noticing) a dash of casual racism. Or todays Daily Mail.
I hope we haven't forgotten The Tories covering up the connection between emergency food bank referrals and dwp cuts.
Or tackling child poverty by changing the definition.
More cuts and cover ups to come.
2 "protected" OAP's here Without CTC we will struggle. Hit Disability benefits and we will be stuffed BUT not as much as the young families. I am scared for the poor!!
Afraid Lurking's right, there are enough people who don't care about the facts to give the government cover for even the most savage attacks on the poor. Sadly prejudice and ignorance win. People don't understand and don't want to know that the biggest slice of the so-called 'welfare bill' is pensions, for instance, or that out of work benefits are only a tiny part of the whole. Or that benefit fraud is extremely low, particularly for disability benefits.
Political parties tend to remain vague about such cuts, but at least people were warned by the government they were coming, often such talk is BETWEEN elections and denied at the general election, which is disingenuous at best - but the details will soon be released.
March 2010; ”Alistair Darling: we will cut deeper than Margaret Thatcher”
October 2013; “Labour will be tougher than Tories on benefits, promises new welfare chief”
“Rachel Reeves vows to cut welfare bill and force long-term jobless to take up work offers or lose state support”
August 2013; “Labour to substantially cut benefits bill if it wins power in 2015”
”Labour will cut the benefits bill "quite substantially" and more effectively than the Tories if it wins power in 2015, the shadow work and pensions secretary said on Tuesday”
”Liam Byrne, a Labour frontbencher, said the coalition's welfare reforms were failing to cut costs enough, and called for cross-party talks to "save" some of the government's key schemes.”
The facts remain that our welfare/benefits cost (and government spending) went up far faster than the rest of Europe and became out of control.
”Welfare spending in Britain has increased faster than almost any other country in Europe since 2000, new figures show.”
Fraud for disability payments is far lower now, so there is no excuse for not protecting the most in need.
Conduct complaint over Iain Duncan Smith’s lie to Parliament
Parliament is to investigate a complaint against Iain Duncan Smith, after he was recorded presenting inaccurate information to fellow MPs in the House of Commons.
Vox Political reader Helen Groves stated in her complaint that she found it “deeply troubling” to hear that a government minister responsible for the welfare of millions of vulnerable people “continually misrepresents” information to other MPs.
She was referring to the Gentleman Ranker’s reply to Debbie Abrahams’ question on June 22. Ms Abrahams had asked: “Why does he refuse to publish the details of the number of people who have died within six weeks of their claims for incapacity benefit and employment and support allowance, including those who have been found fit for work?”
The Secretary-in-a-State replied: ” She knows very well that the Department does not collate numbers on people in that circumstance. It deals with individual cases where things have gone right or gone wrong and reviews them.”
Everybody reading Vox Political knows this to be untrue, as an email from the DWP, dated October 21, 2013, now-famously states: “The Department does hold, and could provide within the cost limit, some of the information requested.”
In her complaint, Ms Groves states: “I feel this calls both his position and the government into disrepute, domestically and internationally, due to his high profile. I can only assume that… Mr Duncan Smith deliberately provided false information.
She continued: “Mr Duncan Smith must be aware that his department [has] already provided such information to the data commissioner and that his department [has] been fighting a legal battle to prevent publication of this information. As such it is not plausible that Mr Duncan Smith provided this information without knowledge that it was false.
“This subject has been widely reported by [the] media and as simply a member of the public I am conversant with the issues. How can it be credible that the minister is not?
“Only days later, Mr Cameron has acknowledged in PMQs that this information does indeed exist though like Mr Duncan Smith he does not seem to be willing to release it in full, but rather in a form which would prevent the general public from being able to make a clear assessment of the data.
“I would therefore wish my complaint to be addressed as a formal complaint against the Minister Iain Duncan Smith on the basis that his conduct calls his position, The UK Government and the House itself into disrepute.”
In a comment to Vox Political, she added: “they have to investigate and I have no intention of letting them skip over it. Conduct is one of the easiest ways to go after a minister or MP. I think IDS has earned a bit of being held to account.”
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