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Labour Supports Lower Benefit Cap, Despite Warning In Could Plunge Children Into Poverty

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Labour’s interim leader, Harriet Harman, has today (May 27th) announced her party’s support for the Tory policy of lowering the cap on state benefits.

The Conservatives revealed their intention to lower the benefit cap from £26,000 a year to £23,000 in the Queen’s speech.

Speaking in response to the government’s promise, Harriet Harman said she was “sympathetic’ to the idea of lowering the benefit cap by £3,000.

Labour supported the previous Tory-led coalition government’s policy to introduce a cap on benefit entitlement, but voiced concerns about lowering the cap.

Today’s apparent U-turn will add to the anger and despair felt by low-income families subjected to extortionate rents, many of whom looked to Labour in the general election to challenge the Tory austerity agenda.

Harriet Harman told members of parliament: “We support a cap on household benefit entitlement. The Government are now planning to reduce it.

“We are sympathetic to that, but it makes it even more important that the jobs are there for people to move into. The childcare is there, particularly for lone parents and there are adequate funds for discretionary housing payments.

She urged the government “to ensure that this doesn’t put children into poverty, increase homelessness or end up costing more than it saves.”

Labour’s manifesto included a pledge to establish an independent commission to consider the possibility of localised benefit caps.

The Children’s Society has described the benefit cap as a “blunt instrument”, which has resulted in “children having to leave their schools and friends and breaking vital support networks”.

Imran Hussain, Head of Policy at the Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG), said: “The benefit cap has pushed more children into poverty, breached international law and has done little to make work a more viable option for the families hit by it, with very few moving into work or to a new home.

“On the Government’s own terms, it has failed, producing negligible, if any, savings.

“Most of the parents affected are single mums or dads with children so young that even the Government thinks they should not have to work.

“Ministers have yet to make a case for a policy that the DWP’s own impact assessment reveals is nine times more likely to hit children than adults.

“A lower cap would undermine, not strengthen, family security.”

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20 COMMENTS

  1. Since the so-called Labour party have abandoned its principles, let us
    make the decision about who abandons who. An enemy can be respected, but
    a nobody respects a traitor. We will abandon Labour in favour of
    loyalty and honour to those who value our humanitarian principle.
    Traitors are scum that belong in the gutter. That’s why they executed
    them.

  2. LABOUR FAIL TO LEARN FROM ED’S SUPPORT FOR THE TORIES GOING NOWHERE TIL THEY PROVE THEY ARE DIFFERENT HARMAN MAY AS WELL JOIN THE TORIES I’M MAILING BACK MY MEMBERSHIP CARD WILL THEY NEVER LEARN

      • What about the fact that no magic jobs tree exists, so it’s utterly meaningless don’t you understand?

      • Like it or not, and I don’t, but the fact remains that a lot of people don’t get anywhere near that amount of money as a salary when working full time and like it or not it pisses a lot of people off.
        Unfortunately, even Labour has to strike a balance.
        Your right there is no magic job tree, but unfortunately there is no magic money tree either.

      • Completely incorrect. We have a fiat currency, which means there IS a “magic money tree”.

        And Labour are “balancing” on the far side of the Tories, on many issues, these days.

      • I don’t disagree the system is bent, but the but this is a whole different approach and people do not understand how the system works, and until we have enough people realising what a sham it is we are stuck with this perception and have to play to a large degree by those rules.
        Fiat currency or not, you cannot just take it to mean we can magic wealth ( in it’s real sense ) out of the air.

      • There’s no need for the sort of GDP-shrinking austerity which is going on, either.

        This is something which isn’t even left/right, there’s plenty of right-wing thinkers who think the Tories have their heads up their backsides on the economy, like Tim Worstall. (Yes, that Tim Worstall – he also favours a Basic Income, I note). The OECD just issued a major warning about the new cuts damaging the British economy, etc. – and the OECD are pushing the “poverty will rise sharply” slow theory of growth beloved of the right.

        There’s also the little fact that inflation is negative, and the result of printing money is…inflation. Cutting further threatens the property market collapsing ><

        Your arguing that we have to be limited to current thinking isn't helpful either. The "current" thinking – all degrees of the right wing – is why labour lost so badly.

      • I’m not so sure that the reason Labour lost is due to this and I would love it to be true beleive me.
        When you look at where the votes went in this election I think that may be an unsustainable veiwpoint to think the people are clamouring for a left wing party.
        Certainley many are and there are a lot of missing votes, but the left wing alternative parties done as pooorly as ever.
        The big error made when Labour had three terms in office, was to not to effectively use there power to re stimulate peoples understanding of the socialist argument. IT was an awful lost opportunity.
        I think we need to stand in the space we occupy now, moving neither left but fighting the right wingers in the party and wait until the Tories soil their nest again, which they will, and do better next time at getting the hearts and minds of people.

      • The problem with “alternative parties” is quite simply FPTP.

        And if you want to stand slightly to the left of the Tories, fighting the left…you’re showing you have no use for people like me, and sooner or later you will, sadly, drive me out the country for not holding right wing views.

      • No need to be a Lone Wolf !Nothing to do with people like or you or I Leon, it’s the dozy electorate.

        No one can deny they have just elected the most right shower we have ever known and barely grasp what they have done.

        Unfortunately, I think we just have to judge how far we think you can move the party and win, and do better than last time in advancing our. If we decide to let our pride go before us we will never be able to repair the Tory damage (again) or help the disenfranchised. We mustn’t choose not to get elected for without power we are nothing.

      • But you already are – you’re following exactly the same failed strategy of moving right.

        So…bring on PR – and no, I don’t care it would get Labour the same treatment PODMOS suffered in Greece. Because I don’t see any significant Labour policies to repair damage or help the disenfranchised, but rather like this (what the article highlights) and backing for lowering wages (by making some workers have less rights than others).

        In other words, bring on an actual left-wing party.

      • No, I am advocating that we broadly stay where we are.
        If someone gave me inontrevertible evidence that moving strongly left would get us elected I would be there like a shot…….. but there is no such evidence and much to suggest otherwise.

      • Where are you are, to the “moderate” right (but steadily moving moreso), lost Labour the election and badly.

        Your post is frankly surreal. And of course you don’t see the polls on political distribution (broadly similar between left and right), or the polls showing support for left-wing policies or any evidence you don’t like.

      • It’s not surreal at all. If you think Milliband was moving the party right, I don’t know what else I can say really.
        Who supports left wing policies …… obviously not those that go and vote. How many votes did the left wing parties get, as many as UKIP ? … I don’t think so !
        They were, as ever, a bloody disaster as far as votes go.
        The sheer magnitude of the problem of Labour getting elected is terrifying, there is a huge difference in what you might want or think the electorate will do , and what is actually happening. You have to live with reality.

        I don’t want the likes of Kendall or her ilk, and to be seen to flip to the right again would be suicidal in my view, but we cannot rush left like a bunch of deluded fools either. It’s just the same.

        For now, the political space that Milliband put us in is the correct one. You have to take people with you by your results and that is where Blair / Brown failed, they lacked a real long term purpose.

      • So if I look at the policies on offer, you don’t know what to say? Well yes, that’s clear.

        You don’t see the left voting, because left-wing politics are *not on offer*. You’re obsessed with UKIP, and their right-wing voting base, and you are saying that a *proven* disastrous policy of moving right is necessary and that Blair was too far to the left. Sigh.

        Kendall and her ilk by that logic are too leftist for you. Sigh. Looks like you’re just another right wing voter determined to stop any form of leftist policy offering.

  3. Traitor Child care is not here Many towns don’t have enough places. When you pay for child care – particularly in school holidays – it’s not work getting out of bed. I have a friend who works part time, Her hours are spread over 5 days and as a result she would need both morning and afternoon covering at £90 a day – due to the ages of her children. She only earns £115 per week she would have to pay £136 per week The government would be paying £314 per week. It’s ludicrous

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