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Northampton Tories – Who is really abusing the Welfare Budget?
As the national argument following the implementation of the Conservative Liberal Democrat coalition Governments welfare reforms continues to rage it is perhaps an apt time to ask why and who is really abusing the welfare system.
The desperation of the Government which was amply displayed by the Chancellor of the Exchequers statement that those opposed to the changes are “uneducated and ill-informed” is understandable because of the real fear that many of the Tory and Lib Dem MP’s have for their seats in the 2015 election.
No-one has ever argued that it isn’t necessary to target those who are abusing and milking the system which the Labour party actually introduced actions to reduce.
The problem is that the Governments approach is the difference between a ‘bomber pilot’ and a ‘fighter pilot’.
The ‘bomber pilot’ drops their bombs over a wide area hoping to hit the specific target but in reality also hit the innocent who are euphemistically referred to as collateral damage.
In contrast to the ‘fighter pilot’ identifies a target and deals with it with a minimum of collateral damage.
Surely any sensible humane and compassionate Government would prefer to target those individuals who are milking and abusing the system?
The Conservative Government supported by the Liberal Democrats clearly don’t agree and think that the demonization of millions of hard-working people and those who have been hard-working but who have now lost their jobs because of the Governments failing economic policies and are therefore unable to find employment as being idle feckless skiving spongers who must be punished is the answer.
It is not only lacking in compassion but is actually a brutal and cruel approach that is driving ordinary decent people and families into poverty.
The problem is not the welfare system which has been developed by successive Governments over the past 60 years to provide a safety net and what is effectively a ‘top up’ for the low paid to enable them to provide the basics for their families.
The problem is that too many employers in the full knowledge of how the system operates are only prepared to pay the very basic minimum wage.
A minimum wage that it should be remembered was introduced by a Labour Government with opposition from the Conservatives that bordered on hysteria.
A minimum wage designed to provide a base line from which the level of welfare benefits could be assessed.
The problem is with those employers who are not prepared to pay a Living Wage, which in itself is only £7.20 an hour who are abusing the system and by relying on the rest of the taxpayers to effectively subsidise their workforce.
And who can blame them?
Private sector businesses of all sizes have seen their costs rise and their profit margins squeezed through the lack of Government support over the past three years and a failing banking system that has refused to pass on the £380 billion pounds provided through quantitative easing to small and medium size businesses.
Which brings me to the position taken by the Northampton Conservatives.
In February this year when the Northampton Borough Council Conservatives rejected the Labour motion to make the authority a Living Wage employer they did so using the excuse that “if we did, it would make it difficult to outsource services and staff”, a statement which in itself revealed their true attitude not only towards public services but also towards the NBC staff.
In effect the Northampton Conservatives have revealed that they too are happy and prepared to be ‘low wage paying employers’ with the singular difference from the private sector of also being champions for the cuts that has sentenced thousands of Northampton families to a life of poverty.
Policies that the Northampton Conservatives are as they tell us ‘wholly united’ behind and that they clearly believe the consequences on the people of Northampton is a Price worth Paying