Osborne’s £18 Billion Welfare Cuts, part 1..
I’ve been trying to find a list of budget cuts but I’ve drawn a blank at the moment so I think I will just have to go through them one by one instead. I’ll start with the ones that effect me and my family first and then proceed to the ones that don’t directly effect us.
Let’s begin with George Osborne’s cuts to welfare. He wants to cut a total of £18billion from the welfare system. He claims that he will not punish low income families by increasing Child Tax Credit by £30 next year (that’s 60p a week to me and you) and £50 in 2012/2013. I wonder how that will work when Universal credit comes into force because as far as I am aware that will replace the seperate payments of Income Support and Child Tax Credit. I suppose I will find out soon enough.
He claims to be trying to encourage people to get back to work, yet he is freezing Working Tax Credit for 3 years from April 2011. I wonder, does that possibly mean that I will be alot worse off if I actually find a suitable job? My childcare alone right now would be £450 a week, lets see how he is going to help with that..
Well, before his budget I would have been entitled to up to 80% towards the cost of my childcare. That would be £360 a week. I would be left with just £90 to pay. Now he has changed it to 70%. That works out as me paying £135 a week towards childcare. It really wouldn’t be worth it for the minimum wage job I intend to do (warehouse operative). It feels like when I was first a single mum 12 years ago, living on £71.10 a week for me and my baby and being told I should go and get a job because I was obviously just lazy! £45 a week might be nothing to Mr Osborne, but that is half the food bill for my family!
I went back to work when my oldest daughter was 6 years old. I was earning £5.05 an hour with an agency. I received Child Tax Credit and Working Tax Credit. I didn’t claim the housing benefit I was entitled to, or the council tax benefit I should have. I paid it myself. My rent was £52 a week, I can’t remember what my council tax was, but I remember thinking it was a rip off for a 2 bedroom council flat 😉 I paid my taxes, I worked my little socks off for that minimum wage job because I adored earning my own money and my daughter was so proud of mummy. However, I was only better off because my mum was my childcare and of course she was free of charge. Now I face a totally different dilema.
I am faced with the Tory idea that if I don’t work I am feckless and lazy, yet they are making it increasingly difficult for me to make ends meet while working. They want to make working full time better than being on benefits. Taking away all help with my childcare and cutting so many jobs is not going to achieve that in a way that makes it possible to actually give my children a better life. I suspect that their idea is to cut benefits to the bone so that surviving on them is virtually impossible. That will send me back to the days of standing outside the shops with £1 and making the decision whether to buy milk or bread this week because I can’t afford both. I already live well within my means, we do not fit their stereotype of flat screen TV’s, designer clothes, drinking all weekend and having catalogue payments or a brighthouse account. I won’t go through everything we have, all that needs to be said is that the only things I bought brand new are my childrens beds. Everything else is 2nd hand, and I mean everything.
So, Mr Osborne wants to cut the welfare system by £18billion does he? We’ll see how that works out then. If it is a success, as in, it makes our lives better than they are right now, I will buy a hat and eat it. I lived through the last Tory government and it wasn’t a pleasurable experience. I was in a working household and we only just made it, god help me and my children in our “workless” household.