Friday, 4 January 2013

Job Guarantee will help constituents

Every week I speak to people in Chatham, Aylesford, Snodland and the villages who have a job and are working hard but still rely on their tax credits to help make ends meet until payday.

Times are tough. And sometimes we all need a bit of extra help. That is why we have a system to help people out if the worst happens. But we need to reform the system so benefits are tough, fair and reward people who work.

George Osborne and David Cameron have tried to divide the country by dishonestly claiming that their welfare policies are targeting the work-shy and benefit ‘scroungers’.

It angers me that bright people in government are deliberately playing divide and rule games with peoples lives and those who are working on low and medium incomes. Especially as they are struggling to pay the everyday household bills.

For those that don't think the Tories are targeting working people and nor are they playing games I urge you to read the piece by Conservative Cllr Alan Jarrett (above) in today's Messenger where he accused the government of playing games with local government finances and forcing local Tories to tax the poorest; the same games with a different context are being played on welfare and it is grossly irresponsible. 

The contribution of Ian Duncan-Smith over the New Year compounds the government error; an article which was factually spurious still has not been rebutted or refuted in government. His figures were way out and they were pandering to the worst public instinct.

The TUC poll gives the reality on the ground:

The Tory attempt to play politics has backfired. The changes they are making will hit people who have a job and are working hard to make ends meet. Quite simply, they are introducing a tax on strivers.

Because the economy has flatlined, George Osborne will be borrowing £212 billion more than he planned and it’s working families across Kent that will be paying the price of his economic failure.

Two-thirds of people hit by the Government’s cuts to tax credits and benefits are in work. And make no mistake, while they are hitting striving families, they are giving a £3 billion tax cut to the very richest people in the country.

Over Christmas I met a number of small business owners who are looking to hire but are being hampered by this Tory government; I also meet people who are struggling to get work.

Like everyone, I want to cut the benefits bill. But the best way to do that is to get people into work, not punish people who are already doing the right thing by working but are struggling to make ends meet. This is why I also oppose the rise in SouthEastern train fares; because it is the Tory government which is taxing work and its strangling our economy

I want a system that helps people who are doing the right thing and trying to get a job or our already working but struggling to make ends meet. I want a One Nation system which is tough but fair and which rewards people who work.

That’s why I am pleased that Labour has announced a compulsory jobs guarantee for people who are long-term unemployed.

The guarantee means that every adult who’s been out of work for two years would be offered a job. And they would have to take it or lose their benefits.

This will help up 285 people directly in Chatham and Aylesford, 790 people across the Medway seats and 9,800 across the South East region

Labour would pay for this by reducing the tax relief on the pensions of people who earn over £150,000. When times are tough it cannot be right that we subsidise the pension contributions of the top 2 per cent of earners at more than double the rate of people on average incomes paying the basic rate of tax.

David Cameron cannot be the one nation Prime Minister Britain needs when his government targets people in work and people who want to work, and labels them as scroungers. A One Nation approach to welfare reform is one which is tough on the responsibility of people to work if they work, but fair to those who are in work or genuinely want to work.

This is in contrast to the Government whose approach on welfare has shown them to be more interested in exploiting the challenges the country faces than solving them.

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