Friday, December 8, 2023

Polly slams Tories over 8,500 working Thurrock families “made poorer” by benefit changes

LABOUR research has revealed that over 8,500 working Thurrock families have woken up today poorer due to the benefit changes voted in last night (Tuesday).

Benefits including: Jobseeker’s Allowance, Employment and Support Allowance, Income Support, Elements of housing benefit, Maternity allowance, Sick Pay, Maternity Pay, Paternity Pay, Adoption Pay, Couple and lone parent elements of working tax credits and the child element of the child tax credit will all be capped at 1%.

Prospective parliamentary candidate for Labour, Polly Billington said “There are thousands of Thurrock families in recipt of working tax credits in Thurrock, who will all find their income squeezed becasue of the decision by George Osborne to stop them rising in line with living costs.

“I’m on the side of people who work and want to work: the question is whose side is Jackie Doyle Price on?

“By voting for this real terms cut in the support working people get – including maternity allowance and child tax credits, she will deliberately making thousands of her own constituents worse off.

“The welfare bill doesn’t have to be sky high, if this government put people back to work rather than forcing families to pay for their failure.”

But when Channel 4 interviewed commuters at Grays railway station on Tuesday morning opinion was mixed with some commuters backing minister Ian Duncan Smith.

One commuter said: “Why should I get up every day, off on the train to the city when there are those who sit at home all day. It is not fair.

‘I will tell you one thing. I will never vote for Labour again.”


  1. Ha HA!
    Polly doesn’t miss a chance does she.
    She’s got to realise that we all have to suffer for the sake of the future.

  2. Thats exactly what I thought jmw!

    Labour would still have to bring the welfare bill down if they were in power anyway.

  3. So the Sister is part of the proletariat now is she. I don’t wish to sound all Monty Python but my mother was a single parent that did two jobs to ensure that her family were fed, housed and clothed. We very seldom had luxuries but we managed to get by without state handouts because back then there were no state handouts to the extent there are now. I myself have brought up two children, initially when I was in a relatively low paid job, as was my partner. If we didn’t have enough money, we went without or we worked extra hours or got another job. Again the state handouts were nowhere near as generous as they are now. Some industries may have received state subsidy but individual employees certainly didn’t receive state subsidies for accepting paid employment.

    So what’s so different now. Were people back then super parents that would rather work 24 hours a day to make sure their children were looked after by them than rely on the state to bail them out. I don’t remember mass starvation or huge tented cities because nobody had a roof over their heads. Benefits were just not available then as they are now.

    It appears now that people see it as their right to be supported by the state from cradle to grave. Nobody has to strive to be self reliant any more. According to Labour they don’t have to becasue the state will do all that for them. Labour will ensure they have benefits paid for by ever higher taxes and borrowing.

    So when will Labour stop the false economy of subsidising jobs and people’s lives by taking money from people they deem to be able to afford it. If people want an economy constatntly strangled by debt and massive government spending on welfare then by all means vote Labour. But remember to tell your kids that they will forever be paying off someone else’s debts for them and they will have to rely on the state to help them get by, and get by they will becasue they will never prosper under the state control the Labour party advocates.

    Maybe that’s why we have so many people around now that could double as a children’s inflatable attraction at a fairground.

  4. The sad thing NoVoice is that as things stand it looks like we will have another Labour led government in 2015. If we think the country is in a mess now wait until they’re let back in.

  5. You’re absolutely right Bernard87, Labour will win the next general election. The Tories are ineffectual at arguing the case against Labour’s wlefare state and other policies I obviously disagree with. They will lose hundreds of thousands, if not millions of votes to UKIP so Labour can sit back now and say nothing. They’ll win hands down. My advice is move any cash assets out of the country before they get in becasue they’ll want a slice not long after. Say goodbye to the countryside becasue that wil be concreted over. And get out the welcoming mat for another wave of mass immigration.

  6. The Tories have a massive PR problem…they have some decent policies but they seem to struggle actually getting their ideas across to the public. Part of the reason may be due to so many of the ‘Notting Hill set’ being in the top roles which is brilliant for uber posh Notting Hill, not so great for suburban/semi-rural South Essex.

    Labour will continue where the Tories have left of if they come to power in 2015. They know that you cannot spend more and borrow more forever so will have to pursue with the cuts eventually. I just wish they would just be honest and say that rather than constantly pretending that there are other ways.

    As for Polly many families were made artificially richer in the first place by handing out government money rather than saving it for a rainy day (or decade as is the case now). Maybe in Gordon held on to the nations gold for a few more years there would be more money in the kitty to subsidise 9 out of ten working families.

  7. jmw118 I am somewhat surprised and saddened by your response to Polly Billington’s comments as I have always considered you a person who cared about people who, through no fault of their own, are made redundant and are forced into the benefits system. I have no problem with your comment that “we all have to suffer for the sake of the future” but surely you would agree that the suffering and hardship incurred by low paid workers and those who rely on benefits are far greater than those of the welloff. It is the manner in which this coalition Government seeks to divide society by demonising those on benefits which I find abhorrent. Most unemployed would love to have a job to “get up” for rather than “sit at home all day”. People who are made redundant are the “cannon fodder” in the “economic war” and should be recognised as “heroes” not branded as “cheats and shirkers”.
    “Redundant” – superfluous, that is not needed or required. Make you feel worthless?
    For those who may not have read my blog I repeat it here.
    One of the most oft repeated phrases by the coalition Government has been “We are all in this together”, an “incantation” which they thought if they chanted it often enough, we would all believe it so. Unfortunately the reality has been less than enchanting and there are many people who are “more in it” than others” whose lives have been adversely affected, even devastated, by the impact of the Government’s fiscal policies. These politicians and their ilk then have the effrontery to expect us to acknowledge that they are making the same sacrifices and suffering the same hardships we, the ordinary men/women have to make and endure. They claim they are just like us and feel the same pain as we do “when you scratch us, do we not bleed the same as you”? They may feel a little pain from “scratches” but the majority of us are suffering a great deal of pain from the savage “cuts” inflicted upon us in the cause of economic recovery. It is adding insult to injury to imply that we are all in the same” boat” when some are in a “luxury yacht” sailing away from the rest of us sitting in a leaky row boat. The Government’s cynical “demonising” of the unemployed, the latest example being that benefits are rising at twice the rate of the salaries of those in work, implying that people on benefits are getting twice the amount of increase than the worker, is disingenuous and wilfully misleading. If my benefit is £100 per week and I get a 2% increase that is £2 per week extra income, if I am in work and earn £400 per week and get a1% increase that amounts to £4 extra income, a complete reversal of what the Government would have us believe. This Government, together with their Lib/Dem allies, delight in alienating those in work from those out of work by referring to the unemployed as “lying abed with curtains still drawn, living a comfortable life on benefits at the expense of hardworking, tax paying others “. It is unlikely these “arrogant posh boys” have ever done a “hard” day’s work in their lives and have no understanding, and probably don’t give a damn, of the hardships the unemployed and their families have to endure. They persecute and humiliate those receiving benefits accusing them of being workshy scroungers, parasites living off the state at a cost the country cannot afford. It seems to me that these politicians need reminding it is the state that pays their, way above average, wages, along with generous expense allowances, which enables them to live very comfortably at the expense of the hardworking relatively low paid taxpayer. Perhaps we should inform these “arrogant posh boys” that the country cannot afford to continue to pay their high salaries and outrageous expenses and we require them to take a substantial cut to both. This Government has and continues to indulge itself in a strategy that sets one section of society against the other and then exploits the resentment felt by those in work by a perceived imbalance and unfairness in the benefits system.
    The odium of the Government’s declared “war” on the benefits system is only surpassed by the wickedness of their blatant perpetuation of the myth that most people on benefits are fraudsters, claiming benefits too which they are not entitled. There will always be fraudsters but for every benefit fraudster there are hundreds of thousands of genuine claimants. MPs would do well to remember their own expenses scandal and the outrage they felt when they perceived they were all being “tarred with the same brush. Having squealed like stuck pigs at the unfairness of accusing all MPs of abusing expense allowances, they now seek to brand the unemployed, the disabled, the mentally ill and those on housing benefits as cheats. What a miserable bunch of bullies they are.
    I believe most people in Thurrock abhor the Government’s persecution of the poor and vulnerable members of society.
    I believe most people in Thurrock care about and are sympathetic to the unemployed and the hardships they and their families endure.
    I believe most people in Thurrock are concerned about the care and treatment of the elderly, the mentally ill and the disabled.
    In short, I believe the ethos of the Thurrock community is one of care, compassion, courtesy, tolerance and respect.

  8. Sorry Peter, but I couldn’t help but goad my Tory friends to respond which they did.
    If we are all honest, we know that Labour will be elected in the next election in Thurrock.
    But I’m not so sure that they will make a difference. As I have said before, I think many of our problems have been caused by world financial mismanagement.

  9. Don’t flatter yourself JMW118. Wild accusations of the evil Tory tyrants forcing people to live off £26,000 a year in benefits are really going to make people’s hearts bleed when they’re standing at a bus stop or on a train platform at 6.00 am tomorrow morning so they can have the pleasure of handing over 30% of their wages to someone else. The Labour party have done more to make the working class poor than anyone else. They flood the labour market with cheap Labour. Inflict a minimum wage not fit to live on on the working class. Crash the economy through their mismanagement. How much did their illegal wars cost. Not satisfied with spending a third of all tax revenue on benefits, Labour now want more. Read the employment statistics and they will tell you all you need to know about the unemployed with two thirds of jobs created going to people born outside of the UK. The Labour party and the unions take the working class for granted. Throw them a few handouts and they’ll vote Labour forever is their ethos. When a drug dealer gives a person drugs for free in ever increasing quantities, it’s because they want to create dependency in that person and make them theirs forever. Labour have created state dependency and carry on promising more. I hope the government calls an election tomorrow. I want to see Labour crash the economy again. I want to watch them go cap in hand to the IMF as they have done before. And I want to see the reaction of all those screaming for more benefits when they’re told the money has run out. And the Islingtonite PR woman is the last person that will empathise with the working class. A bit like Gordon Brown calling a working class pensioner a bigot becasuie she told him the truith about life in this country under Labour.

  10. No National debt relief. £400 billion spent on quantitative easing since April 2010. Failure to collect tax and other state taxes has had a dramatic effect on UK State Income. Whilst the working man / women generally working PAYE see their money docked on a regular basis many other get away with paying little or as we know nothing. Both the Labour and current Coalition Govt’s have known about this and done little. Many of my colleagues took decades canvassing for disabiity payments to be increased and now many claimants are classed as work fit by a private Company complying with rules that confirm all are work fit unless you are catatonic. – medical reports mean nothing and Tribunals are years away and the Press will be Galvanised to demonise claimants. The Bankers are celebrating in Basel. Thurrock has Food banks. More Pay Day Loans and Pawn Shops. Tory Charity! New Poor Laws / Debtors Prisions and Workhouses.(Too far ….) NASTY PEOPLE IN THE NASTY PARTY doing NASTY THINGS Goodbye Tories and LibDems 2015.

  11. I recall a time when the Labour party were for the working man now they are all for the non working man with benefits galore, the new labour party thought of giving those who have been unemployed for 2years a job for 6 months on minimum wage is just crazy, where are these jobs coming from? if you can create jobs why not create fulltime jobs for those unemployed?

    Unfortunatley due to the global financial disaster and the bad money management of the last labour government a lot of industry has closed down which has caused even more unemployment so even more people are now claiming benefits, I agree that benefits are needed for those that are in real need of them but at the moment a lot of benefits are not means tested correctly which ends up with people who are earning and living beyond their means getting state hand-outs, the whole benefits system needs to be changed so only those truly entitled to them actually get them.

    So far Labour have not given any credible explanations on how they will reverse the deficit of the country all they have done so far is come out with small soundbites, once they are in power I cannot see them changing that much that the ConDem party are already doing, the whole country needs to change and we need a strong government to take us out of the financial problems and neither the ConDem or Labour showing any signs that they are in control of the situation.

    It is going to take years of financial hardship from everyone to get this country back to any semblance of what it used to be, we are all in it together but not by choice but by bad fiscal management by the last inepet government.

  12. Peter, I don’t think the Government is trying to divide society at all. I think the Labour Party already did that years ago. They allowed the conditions to exist that enabled the feckless and workshy to sit on their backsides raking in benefits whilst sticking their midlle fingers up at those who go to work and pay their taxes. I agree with you that the vast majority of people do feel sympathy with the genuine unemployed and the genuinely needy. It’s just that, for so many people, languishing on benefit has become a lifestyle choice. What the true ratio is, I don’t know, but the perception (for me at least) is for every one genuine benefit claimant there are three scroungers. Labour created that, not the Coalition.

  13. Lambo and Gray64s posts are 2 of the best posts I have read on this site. I agree with them both.

    “The Bankers are celebrating in Basel. Thurrock has Food banks. More Pay Day Loans and Pawn Shops”

    Vince, Margaret Thatcher helped to create this culture of greed that we now have, I can admit that…sadly, but Blair and Brown allowed these ‘Bankers’ to do what they wanted as a way to gain support for the party in the City of London. It was them who eroded the discipline that former Tory chancellors had imposed on the city so its unfair to now blame the bankers. I get a feeling that you rather blame everything/everyone else other than Labour. I do not like everything the Tories/Libs do and would rather a proper right wing government but I have to give them credit for trying to clean up the enormous mess which they didn’t help to create.

    NoVoice – I have often said if an election was called tomorrow Labour would win, they will then go on to bankrupt the country and then will have no choice but to beg for it. At least then all those people in Thurrock&Harlow, Scotland and Northern England can see just how great Labour policies really are.

  14. I agree that QE has not had the effect it was supposed to have had and has simply led to lower interest rates for savers and lower pension. I don’t think anyone would disagree that companies should not be able to get away with paying zero tax. I also don’t agree with our Tory MP that we can’t take a unilateral stance on this. Starbucks, Google and Vodafone aren’t going to walk away from a prime market.

    The fact of the matter remains that the Labour party borrowed and extra £500 billion at a time when they were in receipt of the highest tax revenues this country has known. They left this country with a structural debt and a benefits system far in excess of it’s ability to pay for it through normal revenue so hence the borrowing.

    I am all for a safety net for people in bad economic times. Nobody should lose their home or see their lives ruined through no fault of their own and this would be affordable to this country were it not for the fact that the Labour party believes it is an inherent right of anybody that is currently residing in this country, regardless of whether they have contributed to the system or not, to sit on their backsides forever and a day and have the state pay for it without the slightest hint of any compulsion for them to find themselves a job at some stage. That is a recipe for disaster as we are now witnessing.

    We then move onto the fact that the Labour party, in it’s wisdom, decided that it would be a great idea to introduce a minimum wage that was unliveable but appeased their friends in big business and thought of the even better idea to get the taxpayer to subsidise those low paid jobs through tax credits. All coincidentally introduced at the same time they were planning the flooding of Britain with their millions of voters from abroad. This way they could claim that all these people were gainfully employed in low paid jobs and were not a burden on the state. Except they forgot to mention that they would not contribute a penny to the system because their tax credits would be greater than any tax they actually paid and therefore the burden of free education, healthcare and other benefits did fall on the rest of society.

    These two policies together have virtually guaranteed that the minimum wage will remain the benchmark for all companies that work on small profit margins alongside all unscrupulous employers seeking little more than to exploit the situation that Labour created through subsidised jobs and a huge supply of low paid workers.

    So what do Labour intend to do about the mess they have put this country in. As we have witnessed, they intend to blame it all on the nasty evil Tories and if they get in power no doubt their solution is to increase the burden on those that choose to work to the benefit of those that choose not to.

    Labour are the great dividers of society. From immigration to class war, they love it. Just so long as the gullible and the imported millions continue to vote for them, they’ll carry on doing the same. We aren’t all in this together and that is evident from the fact that it seems common policy of the Labour party to blame all those in work for the ill’s of this country because we must be the greedy people that are keeping their army of foreigners and benefit dependent supporters from getting on in the world. It’s all everyone else’s fault as per usual.

  15. Listening to Radio 4 today [Thursday] there was an item on PM concerning MPs pay. MPs were invited to anonomously participate in a survey asking if they [MPs] thought they were deserving of a pay rise and if so how much. The survey revealed that most MPs considered they deserved a pay rise [no surprise there]. What took my breath away was the 32% rise they felt they were entitled too, this barely 24 hours after they voted for a 1% cap on benefits, in reality a benefits cut. Such hypocrisy and cynicism beggars belief.
    gray64, have you ever experienced being made redundant? Your perception that only 25% of benefit claimants are genuine and that 75% are “scroungers” is not only outrageous but reveals an uncharitable side to your character.

  16. With more and more people having to go part time, work on temporary contracts or are offered zero hours contracts, the murkier end of the employment spectrum is growing, all in the name of creating a ‘flexible labour market’ to make us more ‘competitive’. The murkier end of the employment spectrum is characterised by low pay, hence the number of people who have no option but to claim benefits such as working tax credits. It could it be argued that these ‘in work’ benefits effectively subsidise the ‘flexible labour market’ that many of our politicians and business leaders love. In other words, it’s cheapskate employers who gain from ‘in work’ benefits. See here for the view from the Thurrock Heckler:

  17. I fail to see how my perception of the number of scroungers is ‘outrageous’. It is, after all, just my perception, my view. In my life, and I am 48 now, I have known a very few people who have been on benefits for reasons of redundancy or sickness. Unfortunately, I have known and do know absolutely loads who think being on benefits is a bit of a lark or that they are entitled to hand outs because “that’s how the system works”. I know single mothers that have never worked and have never had the fathers around for long who have gotten pregnant again just because they can and because they will get better benefits or a better house/flat. That’s not hearsay, these are people I know, now. I know young lads that have left school and haven’t even tried to get a job, because it’s easier not to. I know whole familes that are on benefit, not because of sickness or redundancy, but because they get large sums of money to do bugger all. Again, not hearsay or invention. I know these people personally.
    I can only believe what I see with my own eyes and I see a lot of money being chucked at a lot of people who shouldn’t get a penny.

  18. I recommend those that support Labours tax credits policy reads the Thurrock Heckler. Also those that extol the the miracle of multiculturalism might want to take a look as well. You may finally come to realise what you’ve been supporting.

  19. In response to NoVoice, I would like to point out that the Thurrock Heckler despises all the mainstream parties, Tory, Labour, LibDem…and there are a fair few minority parties across the political spectrum we’re not keen on either. As for multiculturalism, we’re not exactly over the moon about that either… We do not support Labour’s tax credits policy because as we said above and in the post on our blog, tax credits claimed by poorly paid workers are a subsidy for cheapskate employers who won’t pay a living wage. Hope that clears up any misconceptions.

    PS For the record, the Thurrock Heckler receives no funding from anyone and is funded from our pockets out of what we earn slogging our guts on doing low paid and not very secure jobs…

  20. gray64, If you are offended that your perception, that only half a million out of over 2 million unemployed are genuine claimants, is considered to be outrageous perhaps you should not have aired it so publicly thereby courting a response. You appear to suggest, because you are 48 years of age that your opinion/perception that the vast majority of those on benefits are “scroungers” is entitled to unchallenged credence. Applying that criteria, would you concede that, as I will be 80 years old next month, that my perception/opinion, that the vast majority of claimants are genuinely entitled to and deserving of the benefit they receive, is entitled to higher credence than yours? I do not know in what part of Thurrock you live but for some reason, according to you, it seems to have attracted an inordinate number of “benefit scroungers”. I note that you do not care to comment on the 32% pay increase MPs feel they deserve whilst at the same time imposing a 1% cap on benefits. In view of their oft repeated statement that all sections of society, rich and poor alike, have to make sacrifices would you accept that a 32% pay increase is outrageous?

  21. gray64.
    If you know these benefit scroungers so well, why don’t you report them and help save the money for better things.
    In my experience its very hard to get any financial benefits, I get just £40 per week Pension Credit with regular reviews.

  22. Rather a rant earlier but I will continue to argue with anyone that the size of the cuts are realistic and people can live on the benefits now provided. I know a lot of self employed individuals and all seek to maximise their income. I spent 13 years working in the Investment World 83 to 96 and 15 years in the Charity Voluntary sector – Chalk and Cheese. I have seen rampant claimants for benefits and have refused to assist them. People on benefits are not scroungers and are just getting by. Their weekly income goes to them and they spend it almost immediately actually assisting a local economy.
    It is no life on benefits and the only way out is work but with no local Jobs (Gateway Fiction) the suffering will continue. Even Japan has announced a $224 billion programme on top of the Earthquake recovery to stimulate 600,000 new Jobs. UK MPs Pay – 32% rise request – on the performance over the last 2 to 5 years No and No again.
    We have Food banks and Pawn Brokers in Thurrock – back to the 30’s or Victorian times. Look beyond the fiction of Downton Abbey and rants in the Mail
    Express and Sun!

  23. thuraltmedia It’s obvious your a left wing media outlet but I do agree with what you have written believe it or not. Make the minimum wage £10 an hour and hey presto, you’ve got rid of the need for benefits but not relative poverty. My point is that the Labour party deliberately introduced an unliveable minimum wage as some kind of symbol of their support for the poorer people in society as though it was somehow going to protect them from poverty when clearly it wasn’t. Tax credits and the minimum wage were just part of the mechanism to facilitate mass immigration. Before you recoil in horror at the thought of a right wing nutter supporting you and what you write, my views weren’t far from what you write before the Labour party were taken over by the evil one and his fat student pals and turned into a dinner party for the Islington set to discuss how they could manipulate the masses into their way of thinking. The article on multiculturalism is as real as it gets in real life and it explains the mass media approach to what we see in society today. You’re right not to support tax credits for the very reason you argue, which, if you read it, is exactly what I am arguing. It falsifies the employment market and hides the truth about life in this country at the sharp end. It simply appeases the sensibilities of the Labour party’s pretty little housewife set. Not that I’m accusing Polly of being a housewife. Get rid of it and make employers look like they are. It’s the only way to change things. In short, politicians are lairs, shock horror, and watching the news in the morning is a sick joke. It’s like watching members of the women’s institute that have just been told their children are gay every time they mention a story on mass immigration or crimes carried out by ethnic monotrities. That’s if they can bring themselves to mention it. I won’t recommend you again and wreck your street cred.

  24. Well done NoVoice , great idea to increase the minimum wage. You really have not got a clue. To increase wages like that would send many companies to the wall because they would be unable to meet the wage bills. Those that did survive would have to do so by putting the price of there goods or services up to compensate for the wage increase. So the result would be job losses, bankrupt companies , and everyone paying more for things they need. Hence any benefit people would get from the increase would be levelled out again by having to pay out more for goods and no doubt more in tax to compensate for all the extra peopl who will be on benefits due to bing made redundant because there firms had to shut due to the wage increase.

  25. NoVoice, don’t worry about our street cred with the middle class left…I doubt that many of them read Your Thurrock! In our previous incarnation as the IWCA, one thing we learnt very quickly when we were doing street surveys or canvassing was that it’s impossible to neatly pigeonhole people into ‘left’ or ‘right’ political categories. People would lean ‘left’ on some issues and ‘right’ on others…that’s what made canvassing interesting as you never knew what you’d get when knocking on the door. Unlike many on the left, we’re happy to deal with people as they are and accept they’ll hold a range of views across the spectrum. On the matter of immigration, you might find this piece (and others) from the IWCA of interest:

  26. Red Rebel that’s the argunment business uses. Labour already has the campaign for aq living wage, which I believe was asking for a wage about 5p greater than the minimum wage in Thurrock. There are other way of getting business to employ people on higher wages like targeting reduced employers NI payments at smaller businesses. If the Labour party had been serious about changing the econonomic base of this country from a service industry to the more high tech end industries, there wouldn’t be a problem. It’s inconceivable that the argument can be used that only those at the top have to be incentivised by monetary return to get them to work well. Why doesn’t that work at the bottom? The truth is it works better at the bottom than it does at the top. Labour were on the right track in trying to make sure people were well educated but as usual, failed. I am a middle class, well earning accountant Red Rebel. I’ve seen a few cases where low wages are used to maximise profits when it really isn’t needed. Do you think the banks have high levels of employees on tax credits? It is a service industry after all. What’s so different. People seem to make the argument that tax payers must foot the bill for low wages all the time. The problem being that those at te top once again avoid this because uit’s unlikely that having to suipport an ever increasing wlefare bill is going to affect their overall tax liability. With earnings stagnating there’s only one option for a higher welfare bill, higher taxes. So those at the bottom cop it again. How long do you think we can go on like that before it becomes more financially viable for more people to give up work and go on benefits.

  27. thuraltmedia I’ve read the article on immigration before and it has been a view I have long held.

    Red Rebel the argument to increase the minimum wage significantly isn’t a wacky idea of the right. Most bosses would be turning blue at the thought of it. With the rise in population growth in Asia and Africa and the rise in wealth in those areas, commodity prices will continue to outstrip wage inflation in the western economies at a rate of knots. At some stage the economy will have to be re-balanced because of this and also because of the fact that housing is now unaffordable even to those on relatively high or above average incomes. Either that or we consider expanding tax credits to these people and accept that tax rates will rise sharply or we allow wage inflation for a period of time. Which I wonder would be more palatable to politicians, higher taxes or higher pay rises for employee’s. Businesses might also want to consider that an ever reducing level of incomes available for consumer items other than food, housing, travel, and energy, their businesses will suffer and many will go bankrupt anyway. Also take into account that the spread of the internet into the retail sector and other service industries and advances in technology in the construction industry and logistics industries, meaning less manual labour will be required, the pool of jobs available for low skilled workers, both migrant and and British is going to diminish. All reasons why mass immigration of low skilled migrants has been a hugely damaging policy of the left to western economies in general. It will inevitably lead to higher unemployment and higher welfare bills unless groth in western economies is similar to that we see in Asia.

  28. Peter, I didn’t say I was offended by your views on my perception, I just didn’t, and don’t see what is outrageous about it. Your 80 years of experience is just as valid as mine, I made no claim to the contrary, your experiences have clearly been very different to mine. To make the point again, I am saying that in my life’s experience, I have known very many more benefit scroungers than I have genuine claimants, that is bound to colour my view wouldn’t you say? You have also assumed that these people all live in my part of Thurrock, I never said that and, indeed, that is not the case. I may not be of a particularly venerable age but I have seen life in other parts of the UK other than Thurrock.
    jmw118, report people for what? Unfortunately, they are allowed to claim what they claim and sit around making fools out of the rest of us. They know the system well.

    On the point of MP’s pay. Do I think they deserve more money? No. Do I think the job should pay more money? Yes I do. I also believe that, to qualify for the chance to be an MP, you should work for at least ten years in a non politics related job.

  29. When I was a little girl growing up in the deprived East London (I am now 49) I can remember asking my dear mum who I should vote for. My mum said “The Labour Party” because we are working people. At the time, this was true, the Labour Party stood up for ordinary working people and the Labour Exchange was where working people went to gain work. Nobody lived on state handouts and it was a great shame for a man not to support his own family. Over the years this changed and so did the “working class” people. YES there are lots of people of are temporarily using the benefits system when they have found themselves unemployed or sick through no fault of their own but I am afraid the simple truth is, there are lots more who use the benefit system as a “lifestyle” choice. There is a family that borders my own where there are 2 healthy adults and 3 children who live completely on benefits. I see this man going to the local shop every day loading up on beer and cigarettes and they are completely shameless, and come out drunk at 2am to shout and fight and keep us awake. Our alarm goes off at 5.30am and we have worked all of our lives from age 16 when we left school. Peoiple like us are sick to death of supporting other people. We struggle to pay our mortgage and bills and could not afford to drink and smoke if we wanted to. I haven’t had a pay rise (not one penny cost of living anything) for 6 years now after my job was revaluated and down graded. The system needs to go back to supporting working people as a “safety net” when they fall on hard times and ONLY if they have actually paid something into the system first.

  30. well said jinksbella, the welfare system needs a complete overhaul and as you so correctly put, it shoudl only be there as a safety net for those falling on hard times, not for the social sponges that sit back and do nothing but wait for their dole money.

  31. Our economic woes are about our Financial System & its ability to lend to industry & the General public and the consumer’s ability to generate income. and deal with their staggering debt mountain (sadly of their own making).
    The Consumer 2002 to 2007 over spent and the Banks lent badly. Short Term gain has to be mitigated with long term performance. WE ARE still PAYING FOR THE BANKS AND nearly three YEARS OF DEBT REPAYMENT AND BANK SUPPORT HAS PRODUCED VERY LITTLE ECONONMIC BENEFIT. (AUTUMN STATEMENT)
    Reducing benefits will have little impact except create poverty and carry on the gap between rich and poor. (People on Benefits live on a rotary basis – money comes in money goes out).
    Labour did not collect Taxes well and this current Govt has done the same. John Major bit the bullet because in the end he knew that all the Gold and Silver state assets had been nationalised and the only way forward was to put up taxes and collect them. It is not inflationary if control is effectively carried out by the Bank of England. But we know sadly from 2004 the BOE went into Party mood and was poor at control. (Bring back the likes of Edward George). The Banking system in this Country has been in a state of crisis for the last 40 years and until the Govt of the day gets to grips with the prevailing wind of short termism / greed and corruption the next Banking Crisis (they seem to appear on a regular 7 year basis) will be our last.
    Job Creation is the only way out of poverty and providing work for the millions of unskilled workers this Country has left behind in the last 40 years!
    Thurrock was promised 25000 new Jobs and 21000 new homes. Yes the homes are coming with little or no infrastructure but no jobs! Job Creation in my view is beyond Local Government and needs to be adressed by closely working (and monitored) National / Regional / Local initiatives but please no more Quangos and Cowboy Consultants!

  32. […] Polly Billington, the prospective Labour parliamentary candidate for Thurrock, has spoken out against the government’s move to cap the rise in benefits to 1% which is below the current rate of inflation. This cap on the rise in benefits affects low paid workers and their families as well as those out of work. Research carried out by the Labour party reveals that 8,500 working families in Thurrock will be worse off as a result of the cap on benefits such as working tax credits. See here for the full story (and some interesting, provocative and sometimes misinformed comments!) on Your Thurrock:… […]


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