A letter a day to number 10. No 1,527
Friday 19 August 2016.
Dear Mrs May,
The annual report (2015-16) from the Social Security Advisory Committee chaired by Paul Gray reveals that the welfare reforms were driven by pressure from the treasury and that assessments of the likely impacts were non-existent, ignored/rejected or, through the use of secondary legislation, deliberately bypassed altogether.
What is also clear is that recommendations presented to government were rejected, an example being that the reduction of the maximum period for backdating ‘a claim for HB from six months to one month was too severe’. The government response was, “We remain of the view that the arguments are not compelling for retaining an additional two, or five month period during which entitlement to support for housing costs can be backdated for an increasing minority of new claims to benefit.”
With the imposition of Mandatory Reconsideration’s, benefit delays increased enormously, or ground to a halt, and any reduction in the period of backdating would, and has, led to hardship, hunger, homelessness, increasing numbers of suicides and death.
I put it to you that cuts to social security were always ideologically driven, that is, George Osborne had simply decided that the poor were ones who were going to be penalised to supposedly pay down the debt created by the banks. I also put it to you that this was an orchestrated war on the poor, in which sanctions and imposed hardship were weapons used against the poorest and most vulnerable people in Britain. Whilst George Osborne was cutting inheritance tax and corporation tax, rewarding the wealthy, the poor were, and are, being driven into the ground.
I also wonder where this war on the poor got us given that George Osborne created more debt than every Labour government in history and doubled the national debt. Poor, sick and disabled people have suffered, and continue to suffer, for no better reason than vindictive spite and even the stated intention behind such appalling treatment was entirely false.
Lastly, after the imposition of permanent austerity, the countless billions in cuts across the board, including our NHS, the fire sale of national assets and the increase of over £500 billion in the national debt, where the hell has all our money gone? As you are currently enjoying a walking holiday in the Swiss Alps, perhaps you could give a few banks a call and find out if George hasn’t opened a secret Swiss bank account and squirrelled all our money away there, because I am damned if I can figure it out.