Work and Pensions department’s assessment released before key Commons debate as welfare bill passed by majority of 56 – Britain’s poorest households will be hit hardest by government plans to limit rises in working-age benefits to 1% in a bid to save £3.1bn by 2016.
This Tory attack on the poorest should come as no surprise. Neil Kinnock could just as well have been speaking in 2010 instead of 1983.
Neil Kinnock giving his Election speech about life under Thatcher
But even in 1983, the behaviour of the nasty party was not new:
Seumas Milne writes: “As the depression-era cartoonist highlighted, the idea that there can be any equivalence in belt-tightening for rich and poor is a nonsense. Even if the different income groups were paying proportionate shares, or the wealthy were actually shouldering a heavier burden, as Osborne claimed, the impact would obviously be far greater for those struggling on benefits than for beneficiaries of the boardroom bonanza.
“… the bare-faced deceit at the heart of the government’s claims has become brutally evident. Far from being a fair shares package that shelters the vulnerable, it’s now clear that the net effect of [the] announcements will be to hammer the poorest the hardest.”
That pre-war cartoonist was JF Horrabin and his image was first used on a poster by the Labour Party during the 1929 general election and, later, by PLEBS, an organisation connected to the National Labour College.
And even in 1895, they knew what the ConDems were like …
Neil Kinnock’s Election speech in 1983 about life under Thatcher…
” I warn you. I warn you that you will have pain – when healing and relief depend upon payment. I warn you that you will have ignorance – when talents are untended and wits are wasted, when learning is a privilege and not a right. I warn you that you will have poverty – when pensions slip and benefits are whittled away by a government that won’t pay in an economy that can’t pay. I warn you that you will be cold – when fuel charges are used as a tax system that the rich don’t notice and the poor can’t afford.
I warn you that you must not expect work – when many cannot spend, more will not be able to earn. When they don’t earn, they don’t spend. When they don’t spend, work dies. I warn you not to go into the streets alone after dark or into the streets in large crowds of protest in the light. I warn you that you will be quiet – when the curfew of fear and the gibbet of unemployment make you obedient. I warn you that you will have defence of a sort – with a risk and at a price that passes all understanding. I warn you that you will be home-bound – when fares and transport bills kill leisure and lock you up. I warn you that you will borrow less – when credit, loans, mortgages and easy payments are refused to people on your melting income.
………. I warn you not to be ordinary. I warn you not to be young. I warn you not to fall ill. I warn you not to get old.