£53 a weekeasynotOctober 15 2015
You might have thought that we were being bombarded with April Fool’s jokes yesterday, but sadly not. The most destructive changes to the UK welfare system came into effect yesterday. It was interesting to see the build up of anger on social media sites as people came to realise just what the changes meant.
The biggest joke of the day was Iain Duncan Smith. Not content with being the architect of changes which will push more and more people into poverty, he then decided to run salt into the wound. He claimed in response to a question put to him in a radio interview; that he could live on £53 a week. Now, being as detached from reality as he is, he probably doesn’t realise how much food, utilities and travel cost these days. And, why should he? After all, he claims extortionate amounts which he then spends on subsidised food.
What no one expected was the massive backlash that his comments received. Within 24 hours an online petition has received over 120000 signatures. The petition calls for IDS to prove that he can indeed live on £53 a week. It’s now one of the main news stories. What’s a shame is that it’s taken until after the event for the news channels to pick up this story. Now that the changes are here we need to fight to overturn them. Not least because they will affect many people in the age bracket that we represent.
Just when I thought it couldn’t get any worse yesterday, a news report came out that the Government are thinking about changing the National Minimum Wage. To promote employment they think it would be wise to freeze or reduce the level of the NMW. This, again, will have a massive impact on youth members. So, this year should be the year in which we focus our energy on campaigns to reverse these changes and to prevent any more. We should be a strong voice for those under attack.