First there was the freeze on child benefit and the curbs on housing benefit in the budget. Plus the change in the ways that these will be paid out. Now we hear that there are plans to cut incapacity benefit. But what about the various tax loopholes and avoidance methods that the Lib Dems had highlighted George? Why are all the headline measures to cut taking from the poor like some modern day Sheriff of Nottingham?
 
Of course having worked in the fraud section of the Social Security Agency I know that there are some benefit claimants who should not be receiving it, but in recent months I’ve been hearing from people more cases of them being re-appraised and even though they have a genuine medical condition they are finding their incapacity benefit cut.
 
It is something perhaps that George Osborne should talk to his Equality Minister colleague as Lynne Featherstone has pointed out:
 
“The previous Labour government tried to get people off such allowances and my experience as a local MP from surgery is that the ‘re-assessment’ of people claiming has been variable at best.

“We need to be sure that there is no perverse incentive to determine that someone can work when they cannot. We also need to be sure that those carrying out the assessment are good at it.”

Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith  added to the debate on Sunday when he said unemployed council tenants should to be given incentives to move to areas where there are jobs. Seeing as many of them are living in an area where they have expanded family who may, or may not, be or have helped with childcare in the past, has the provision of moving to a strange part of the country been accounted for into those incentives. Also what about relocation costs? Also what if the unemployed council tenants are a couple and find work in different locations. Is Mr Duncan Smith as a Conservative going to advocating the break up of families?

Of course one of the reasons that leads to such people having a fear of losing their homes when moving, as IDS indicates, is because of the selling off of social housing in such large numbers under the last Conservative government. Oops.

It all seems that the Conservatives had not really thought through the implications of the Social Security measures before they took power, yet somehow it is their policies that are being taken to the front and centre. The Lib Dem policies maintained fairness to the poorest, because it looked at dealing with supplying such benefits to those with need by targeting the tax avoiding tactics of the rich, someone that George is clearly avoiding tackling too much as they vote for him.

So it does beg the question what are those who find themselves in need who have been turning to the Lib Dems in recent years after Labour has failed them get out of the coalition deal? Where is their fairness?

Advertisements