A message from Spartacus: vote with your hearts
Today (1 February), at 12.30pm, the Welfare Reform Bill will return to the House of Commons after a series of defeats in the Lords. Let's be very clear - it is a dangerous, incomplete bill based on flawed evidence and unpleasant ideals. It is vast and impenetrable - most of the ministers arguing for it have very little understanding of the detail within it. Yes, that's right, they don't understand the details or effects of their own policies.
The Welfare Reform Bill will affect every one of us, not just the "feckless scroungers" the government have led you to believe in. Child benefit will be cut, tax credits for "hard working families" will be cut, tax credits for disabled children, and National Insurance credits for disabled children. We will all eventually be transferred onto Universal Credit where both parents will be expected to be in full time work when their children reach the age of 12 years. Everyone will face sanctions.
Make no mistake: this bill fatally erodes the already inadequate social security provision we have in the UK. For all the big numbers the government like to toss around, we have the lowest levels of benefits and the toughest sanctions of any developed nation. This bill is the tipping point. People are going to die and we've done everything - and more - that we possible could to highlight the most dangerous areas. Now it is up to MPs.
* Read a fuller version of this article here: http://tinyurl.com/6sbua5z
© Sue Marsh is co-author of the report 'Responsible Reform' (http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/responsiblereformDLA) on the government's flawed Disability Living Allowance (DLA) reform. A commentator, blogger and campaigner, she writes regularly at The Diary of a Benefit Scrounger (http://diaryofabenefitscrounger.blogspot.com/), from which this is adapted and excerpted. She live daily with the realities about which she writes, researches and advocates. Read Sue's blogs on Ekklesia here: http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/suemarsh
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