While Nick Clegg enjoys his break in a twenty bedroom mansion in the Swiss Alps, perhaps he can spare a thought for the misery caused to thousands of families across the country waking up to the Tory-led coalition’s cuts to their income.
Anyone listening to the talk radio programmes in recent days will be as horrified as I am at the determined efforts to appeal to the worst in people who believe the “scroungers deserve all they get,” despite the fact that many people in employment will not escape. LBC’s Andrew Gilligan was a case in point on Sunday morning. Ten million people will be affected by government policy. Bedroom Tax, council tax and cuts in welfare will cause enormous damage to family life. Five thousand disabled people and up to 200,000 children will sink into poverty.
Already anxious parents in Greenwich are struggling to cope. Many low paid workers will see an erosion in their income because of government measures. Families who have their son or daughter at university are having to pay the bedroom tax if they have a spare room, despite the fact that it will be used during the year. The Government response is to suggest that they want to create a level playing field for those in social housing and homeowners. Of course the Council continues to encourage tenants to downsize and have created housing solutions to meet this challenge. This has been an objective for many years.
Driving many current tenants into the arms of unscrupulous landlords will have the opposite effect. The housing benefits bill will increase as a consequence. There will be many people in the borough desperate to find ways to maintain a decent level of income. They need not be alone in these difficult times. Council staff are ready to offer help and support. Indeed they have been doing sterling work in the past few months leading up to this disastrous policy decision by an uncaring Government.
Woolwich Riverside residents can contact me either by email or telephone. Meetings will be arranged urgently to ensure that support can be established as quickly as possible.