December 18, 2012

Bill Esterson



Britain’s strivers are suffering under the government’s austerity, paying the price for the failure of the economic policies which have seen working people, pensioners and people looking for work all hit hard. 

At the same time that cuts are being made in Sefton and that libraries are under threat, the government is looking after millionaires. Those earning over £1million a year will receive a tax cut of £107,500 each on average every year.  

The majority of people in Sefton  are being hit hard because the government is making the wrong choices and standing up for the wrong people.

Labour won’t stand by while this happens. We will stand up for Britain’s strivers. This week we launched a new website as part of a campaign to highlight the true scale of David Cameron and George Osborne’s failure.

The website, at thepriceoftoryfailure.com highlights real stories about how working people are being hit by Government policies.

Last week’s Autumn Statement exposed the Tories’ failure on the economy: growth down, borrowing up, and hard-working families paying the price.  

David Cameron and George Osborne have tried to claim their cuts to tax credits and benefits were aimed at ‘shirkers’ and ‘scroungers’.  

But the truth is that six out of ten people hit by these cuts are in work.  

The factory worker on the night shift, the carer who looks after elderly people around the clock and the new mum who will lose her maternity pay.  These are people David Cameron and George Osborne never meet and whose lives they will never understand. And most of the people I meet who are out of work are doing everything they can to find work. 

The trouble is that the government has failed to deliver any growth in the economy and a lack of growth means a lack of jobs. The government was very excited this week because unemployment fell. But the reality is that most of the new jobs are low paid and mostly part time, not the well paid, full-time jobs needed for us to recover as a country or for people to recover their lost standards of living.

Spare a thought for the staff at Comet in Aintree. On December 20 they will all lose their jobs when the store closes. Some of them have worked there for over 20 years. They have worked hard and are losing their jobs through no fault of their own. 

Yet the government will cut their benefits if they have to rely on benefits. Benefits for people out of work are there as an insurance in case they lost their jobs. It can happen to anyone as the Comet staff have discovered. It is only right that people who lose their jobs when a business closes have the support they need until they find work again.

The government’s Christmas present to the Comet staff is a cut to their unemployment pay. 

Cameron and Osborne should reflect on the impact of their policies on people who they will never meet and whose lives they can never understand.