When I saw the new Opposition Shadow Secretary of State for Work and Pensions Jonathan Reynolds MP piece in the ‘House ‘ Magazine I was livid like many others, so I immediately hit the PC and typed a letter to get him to acknowledge how disabled people were offended by the article.
It has been signed by many from all walks of life who think our Social Security System is draconian but should remain Universal and yes it is enroute. You cant really blame us, given disabled people in particular have faced some of the worst cuts in the last decade and many lives have been unnecessarily lost due to DWP administrative errors and a parasitic private contractors who arbitrarily decide your worth,based on their own internal prejudices which society has pushed down the gullets of the taxpayer . A society who objects to paying taxes to help those in need seriously needs to give its head a wobble, as in life we never know what is around the corner and COVID -19 provided that shock for the masses whom no doubt over last decade think or voiced opinions those needing state support are lazy good for nothing scroungers.
Covid -19 and the partial lockdown of the UK to tackle the virus, left many who have had no interaction with social security system the shock of their lives yet many who were furloughed have yet to face the brutal measures metered out by the DWP regarding the claimant commitment which comes back into play on 30th June 2020 and the Health & Work programme regime. This is going to hit many very hard who are floundering around being given misleading information about Universal Credit , some not meeting the criteria due to having wages so no entitlement to those who are currently easing back to work finding that their tax credits have stopped so need to reclaim them. It will be a shock to the system they never envisaged themselves to be in.
Anyway back to the conversation I had……….
Basically a future Labour Government will scrap Universal Credit! They are committed to ensure those on Legacy Benefits get the £20 top up in line with UC for furloughed workers and are pushing the government hard on this. They are committed to developing a Social Security System fit for purpose too that’s ‘universal for everyone’.
With regards to his comments on contributory benefits which is why I took to twitter asking for a conversation, the pot is getting less and less as the working poor get poorer and contributions are getting less and less and with the post pandemic and Brexit world ahead and a potentially damaging recession reportedly worse than the great depression 80 years ago in front of us, they are looking at the ways workers contributions are collected and paid out and how those people are brought into a new system which they hope they will achieve once in power.
I remember Labour releasing the contributory document when the Tories floated the idea of an Income Protection Insurance Scheme to ensure those who paid in, got what they paid out! This is not the plan for the potential Labour Government should it gain power. GP’s do not wish to be gatekeepers for DWP even though Labour agrees that private contractors are a real issue so how that comes about is another thing but UBI will not be on the table.
To gain public trust they first have to conquer the public’s mindset towards the welfare state which in itself is a big ask after the Tories have poisoned the chalice since Thatcher ‘s ‘No such thing as Society’ rhetoric. we live in a very unequal world where workers are stuck on low pay zero hour contracts needing food banks while working their asses off, to perceiving their neighbours staying at home getting money from the public purse. Hasten to add we have a government who has pushed the Big Flat Screen TV rhetoric to the Free New Mobility Car bullshit which has lead to Disability Hate Crime and a dob thy neighbour culture for fraud when 99% of fraud claims are unfounded and malicious and conducted out of spite. So that is what the minister was referring to, and he agrees that Means Tested benefits are too low for people to survive on given the rising cost so many face.
Why has this happened I hear many say, well it because the last four decades the Tories and New Labour under Blair have successfully pitted sections in society against each other is the answer, and you all swallowed their bullshit! Certainly in the last decade this has become blatantly apparent with a Tory Government in power in which the rich have become richer and have more power, while the 99% have become the working poor so Divide and Rule works effectively for the Tories and many have bought into it, turning on each other instead of uniting together to defeat this government and boot them out! The working class of this country need to unite and help kick this lousy government out of office so we can all live in a fairer society, based on need not greed.
Lastly He has promised to engage further, so putting aside his past under James Purnell during Blair years which didn’t bode well, I felt it was a good conversation and positive. Jonathan does have a child with disabilities so while he in different position to most he is trying to grasp the nettle. I did warn him that disabled people would no longer tolerate being treated by society in such an appalling way as the last decade. These punitive policies have to stop and maybe just maybe, Covid has taught them a lesson too?
The Article which prompted to outcry
The Document Labour released re Contributory Benefits plans by Tories.