I was delighted to read our MP’s concerns regarding the explosions at Lydd that disturbed the area, and her pleasure in the belief that peace and tranquillity has been restored. However, it may have been more appropriate in these troubled times to address herself to matters that worry and concern thousands of hard working, low paid people in the area who are the victims of the economic situation compounded by the now odious “bed tax”.
For the majority of people in receipt of benefit they are extremely hard working, when they can be, in this area of particularly low pay and unemployment. Of course there are some who abuse the benefit system but the vast majority do not and are already existing on or below the poverty line, something which will never affect our well paid and expenses led political class, particularly the Government who display a breath taking arrogance and complacency as displayed by the spokesman today claiming that “cuts in benefits will help people escape poverty.”
What the Bed Tax means is that if you are in receipt of benefit and live in social housing any under-occupied bedrooms will reduce benefit by up to 14% for one under-occupied bedroom, and by up 25% if 2 or more are under-occupied. This applies to the parents of the military serving Queen and country who keep a bedroom for their son/daughter whom they hope will return from service in one piece, the disabled (many of whom have worked and paid taxes for years) though married, may need separate bedrooms for medical reasons and people of working age struggling on very low pay.
The brilliant solutions offered – take in a lodger to reduce the homeless list, however, should this person pay something towards their board and keep this will be classed as income and thus reduce any benefits – double whammy, so they get to live for free; move into a smaller property - there aren’t any; work more hours a week to cover the cost – how with reduced employment or no jobs? get rid of pets, subscription TV anything you don’t need to live – the chill wind of the hated means test is whistling through our society.
In these times of loss of employment, very low pay and hugely rising living costs the Archbishop of Canterbury and others were moved to say the “vulnerable and those most affected should be supported and not exploited”.
So bankers who created financial havoc are still being paid bonuses, MP’s expenses costs are rising, 13,000 millionaires will get tax breaks of £100,000 a year on average: This just about says it all about a Government with a workhouse mentality. To encourage the poor to work hard take away what they have, to encourage the rich give them more.
Cllr. Sam Souster
Rother District Council – Rye Ward