Today, the new Work and Pensions Secretary, Stephen Crabb, announced that the cuts to Personal Independence Payments have been shelved. Without a doubt, this is a major victory, but not for one second should people think the government has found their conscience.
That the Tory attempt at taking £3,500 a year away from some of the most vulnerable people in society has resulted in a U-turn should surprise no one. When the man who introduced the Bedroom Tax and slashed ESA finds something difficult to stomach, the government must ask themselves questions about how their ‘reforms’ impact those outside a comfortable, privileged elite.
The resignation of Ian Duncan Smith has brought a series of revelations that have shocked no one. After five years of a Conservative dominated coalition, did anyone really believe the Tories represented the worst off in society? After reading that the poorest are deliberately targeted for cuts due to political expediency, the cynical nature of Cameron and Osborne’s government has been laid bare. Even Conservative MPs who have obediently voted to devastate communities have found themselves in agreement with the former minister. The mask has slipped.
Jeremy Corbyn was right when he shone a light on the unfairness at the heart of this budget. He’s right to call on the Chancellor to resign. George Osborne has been playing politics with the personal finances of the vulnerable for too long; planning his move to Number 10 based on demonising people who need help and support. He has been shown up as a fraud, caring only about his career while punishing those who need support the most.
The Tory Party don’t represent the Britain that supports those in need, the people that care about the world beyond their window. They aren’t a One Nation government, they are a One Percent government.