The Conservatives are promising £12 billion of cuts to the welfare budget over the next parliament should they be re-elected – although they won’t tell us what exactly those cuts would entail, aside from £2 billion raised from a freeze on working age benefits that Ian Duncan Smith deigned to tell us about in advance. I suppose he is proud that he would make the poor even poorer should he be re-elected but he hasn’t decided which particular groups of benefit claimants to attack the hardest – the young? the disabled? children? Decisions, decisions…
Despite IDS and co keeping their traps firmly zipped about the horrors they intend to force on the vulnerable, a document was leaked to the BBC allegedly containing some of their intentions. This included:
– Taxing Disability Living Allowance, Personal Independence Payment and Attendance Allowance, the three care benefits available for disabled people.
– Cutting the number of carer’s who receive Carer’s Allowance by around 40%.
– Limiting Child Benefit to a family’s first two children.
– Regional benefit caps.
The Tories were quick to deny that this document contained any policy plans but seeing as they are far less quick to tell us exactly how they’re going to cut £12 billion from the welfare budget if the above actions are not true, many families and disabled people in particular are now left in fear of what may be about to face them in the next parliament.
Even worse, the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) says that even if every one of the awful proposals contained in that leaked document were brought into effect, it would still make a saving of far less than the £12 billion the Tories have pledged. This would mean they would have to make even MORE welfare cuts, but to what? Housing benefit seems like it would be the next thing to add, as it was highlighted by the IFS as being a large (and growing) part of the benefit bill. I don’t think I need to add what this could mean for many people.
I don’t want disabled people to be disproportionately hit in an effort to reduce a deficit that was caused by greedy, amoral bankers. I don’t want children of large families to go hungry because their mother no longer receives enough Child Benefit to feed them. I don’t want thousands of carers to be robbed of the little income they currently receive for the exhausting, often back-breaking 24hr a day work they do for their loved ones. And I certainly do not want anyone to be pushed closer to homelessness by a cut in their Housing Benefit.
The solution? If you live in a marginal seat where there is the possibility of a Conservative win this May, please use your vote to keep them out. Now I’d be the first to say I’m not a big fan of any of Westminster’s parties, but it is clear to me that this party in particular would cause the worst damage to the vulnerable if re-elected for another Parliament. People on low incomes, the disabled, carers, the unemployed, young people, single parents, children – we all cannot afford for another Conservative Parliament. Please use your vote to ensure we do not get one. We do not want more Conservative Cruelty.