Labour MP Bill Esterson warns about impact of Tory-Lib Dem Gover

Bill Esterson


Sefton Central Labour MP Bill Esterson said he was concerned about the impact of the Tory-Lib Dem welfare reforms on hard working families and vulnerable people right here in Sefton.

Bill said the welfare reforms will affect the lives of thousands of people in Sefton Central.

The Tory-Lib Dem reforms include:

  • A bedroom tax for people living in social housing with a spare bedroom.
  • Swingeing cuts to working tax credits.
  • Unemployment benefits slashed.
  • Benefits capped below inflation - a real term cut.
  • End of universal child benefit.
  • Tax credit eligibility increased from 16 hours a week to 20 hours.
  • Social housing tenants forced to pay their own rent rather than the money going straight to the landlord.

People on Disability Living Allowance have already been called up for a reassessment. Many disabled people have been told they are fit for work and already lost their benefits.

Bill Esterson said he has already had hundreds of people from throughout Sefton Central have already contacted him about the unfair changes.

Bills said: "There's been a huge upturn in the number of people coming to me for help because they are either going to lose their benefits or they are facing losing their homes because of the unfair government welfare reforms.

"I've seen people who are clearly unfit for work, either because they have a disability or an illness - their doctors have stated they are unfit for work - but their assessment has come back stating they are fit for work.

"I have seen people who are facing losing their homes because they have a spare bedroom. These older people who have lived in these homes for years, who have raised their children, but who face having to pay a tax on each spare bedroom in the house or face moving. Or these are families with disabled members who are being forced out of their homes because they have a spare bedroom.

"I have seen hardworking people who are at work before most people are even up and out of bed, who are losing their working tax credits and who will struggle to make ends meet.

"These are people right here, right now, who are struggling. People who are living in fear because of this Tory-Lib Dem Government's totally callous way of hurting the country's working people, the country's vulnerable, the country's old, to pay for their failing economic policies."

Bill said further evidence of the Tory-Lib Dem Government's economic failure is the rise in foodbanks throughout the country.

Bill said: "For the first time ever, we are seeing foodbanks being set up in Crosby and in East Sefton. People are turning to them for help. These are people who work who aren't getting enough money to pay the food bills. 

"Or older people who have had their winter fuel allowance slashed by this government who are making the decision to heat or eat.

"It is a story we are seeing up and down the country."

Bill said he and his staff are available to help anyone with any concerns about the welfare reforms.

Bill said: "I have a team of people who are working for me who are there to help immediately. My caseworkers are skilled in the benefits system and they know how best to help people in need.

"If anyone needs help, please contact my office on 0151 531 8433 and we can make an appointment at my next surgery, or we can get to work on the issue immediately.

"My door is always open."


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