Friday 7 April 2017

Jonathan Bartley savages the Tories over their "despicable" disability benefit cuts

The Green Party co-leader Jonathan Bartley told the Tories exactly what every decent and well-informed person in the country must be thinking about the Tories savage cuts to the welfare system.

On BBC Question Time Bartley focused on the cuts to Employment Support Allowance that is paid to people who have been deemed too unfit to work, describing the £30 per week cut as "despicable", and he's absolutely right.

The Tories have repeatedly tried to claim that this massive cut to disabled people's subsistence benefits will motivate them to look for work, but the parliamentary work and pensions select committee have said that the cuts are actually likely to push disabled people into poverty and actually make it harder for them to find work.

Liz Sayce, the chief executive of Disability Rights UK said that "We’re not aware of one single disability employment or benefits expert who thinks this particular cut will be an incentive for disabled people to get a job".

Mark Atkinson from the disability charity Scope, said: "We know that reducing disabled people’s incomes won’t incentivise them to find a job and won’t help halve the disability employment gap. It will just make life harder".

Rob Holland, of learning disability charity Mencap, said "the government has presented no robust evidence that cutting disabled people’s benefits will ‘incentivise’ them to find work. Instead the evidence suggests that this £30-a-week cut will push disabled people further from work, closer to or into poverty as well as affecting their health".

Despite universal opposition from disability and employment experts the Tories have ploughed on and imposed these brutal cuts regardless, endlessly repeating their totally unsubstantiated claims that slashing sick and disabled people's subsistence benefits will somehow help them find work.

These despicable disability benefit cuts aren't the only appalling cuts the Tories have made this week. In order to hand tax cuts to the already wealthy they've also snatched money from bereaved families, slashed the in-work benefits of the working poor, and introduced child welfare cuts that will condemn a further 250,000 British children to poverty.

All the Tory representative on Question Time Suella Fernandes could come back with was a load of utterly misleading guff about how the Tory government are "making work pay". This is absolutely not the case. Under this Tory government British workers are getting the worst deal in the developed world because the UK is the only developed nation where the economy is growing but workers are suffering real terms declines in their wages.

Even if Fernandes' risible "making work pay" claims were true, which they blatantly aren't, there's absolutely no way that anyone but the most gullible of Tory tribalists could accept that slashing the benefits of people who have been deemed too unwell to work and reducing the in-work benefits of the working poor could possibly be effective methods for ensuring that work pays.

Once again the Tories have been exposed as a callous bunch of liars who are engaged on an ideological mission to snatch money from the poorest people in society in order to redistribute it to the already wealthy.

Will this stop people from voting Tory?

It seems unlikely. There are just too many utterly selfish "I'm alright Jack" bastards in Britain with no empathy whatever for those they perceive to be beneath them on the social ladder. They'll vote Tory because they actually approve of snatching cash from people who are too sick to work, from bereaved families, from the working poor, and from children, because they want to pay a few quid less a year in income tax.

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