I am shocked by the inability of the Government to govern in the national interest. On Friday, the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, Iain Duncan Smith MP, resigned over the Governments implementation of further cuts to social security.
The Government were planning on implementing cuts to disabled people’s benefits that would have cost them on average £3,500 a year. In Delyn, 1,216 people are on Personal Independence Payments (PIP), and each and every person was at risk of losing this vital income.
It has been announced that the new Work and Pensions Secretary, Stephen Crabb MP, will tell the Commons in a statement that the curbs to PIP have been abandoned.
These cuts were worth £1.2bn a year, according to the independent Office for Budget Responsibility, and there has yet been any announcement of how this gap will be plugged.
Although I welcome this U-turn by the Government, it is too little too late. The Government have already implemented cuts to disabled people of £24 billion since 2010. Cuts to Employment Support Allowance that were forced through Parliament recently will see half a million disabled people lose £1,500 a year.
These cuts are hitting Flintshire hard. There has been no news on how the £1.2 billion hole created by this U-turn is going to be filled, and I fear that this means that more cuts are coming for working families.
Last week’s budget has unravelled in less time than it took to deliver it. The Government is in disarray, as even its senior members no longer believe it is governing in the national interest. It is giving tax cuts to multinational businesses whilst implementing social security cuts for the most vulnerable.
Flintshire is being hurt, not helped by this Government.