11_september_2015A letter a day to number 10. No 1,199

Friday 11 September 2015.

Dear Mr Cameron,

For a party that is hell bent on driving poor, sick and disabled people back to the stone age it was pretty rich yesterday to read George Osborne saying, “Jeremy Corbyn’s candidacy for the Labour leadership had pulled Yvette Cooper and Andy Burnham further to the left, and it was not good for the country to have ‘an opposition heading off to the wilderness’. And it does seem, as an external observer, that a generation’s work has been unravelled in the space of 12 months.”

Your party is responsible for not just abandoning poor, sick and disabled people, but of systematically destroying Britain’s social safety net, complacently ignored by a sleeping majority who have yet to realise that they will, each and everyone of them, require the welfare state at some stage of their life. It matters not whether it will be through a period of joblessness, a  broken leg, sickness or disability, giving birth, everyone needs the magnificent system of health and social security care we used to provide so well before you Tories got in and set about dismantling it.

In measures announced on 1 July this year on improving life chances of Britain’s most disadvantaged children, Iain Duncan Smith stated, “The measures announced today are the foundation of a new, comprehensive way of addressing poverty and reflect our conviction that work is the best route out of poverty.” In a press release in July this year the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) found that two-thirds of children in poverty live in working families, a rise from 54% in 2009-10 to 63% by 2013-14.

Despite Osborne’s ‘New living wage’, which is anything but, the IFS finds that ‘3 million households would be £1,000 a year worse off as a result of the cuts to tax credits, with low-income workers hardest hit’. With Smith driving poor, sick and disabled people into work under the threat of sanctions and George Osborne ensuring that they will be worse off, that is, of course, if they can even find a job, the future is looking bleak indeed.

I hear from people driven to despair, fearing for their lives – every single day! In Prime Ministers Question time this week you ignored Debbie Abrahams call for Iain Duncan Smith to be investigated for breaching the ministerial code, which is the very least that should happen to him. Outside the privileged Westminster bubble in which you and your government hide from the daily lived reality of those suffering under your ideological austerity, people are living and dying in despair. People are denied a voice or any dignity and are shown no mercy or even granted the benefit of the doubt in whatever real or imagined reason behind being brutalised by sanctions and hardship. You cannot be ignorant of the suffering being caused and even if you were you have no right to the benefit of any doubt, too many people have spent too much time informing you, myself included.

http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2015/sep/09/george-osborne-labour-generations-work-unravelled

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/apr/13/tory-austerity-welfare-state-conservative

http://www.newstatesman.com/politics/welfare/2015/09/art-cruelty-why-conservative-attack-disabled-people-harms-us-all

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/government-to-strengthen-child-poverty-measure

http://www.ifs.org.uk/publications/7880

http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2015/jul/10/george-osborne-took-much-more-from-poor-budget-2015-ifs

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