New Labour is alive and well - according to Liam Byrne! One can only wonder why (New) Labour MPs continually copy Tory policies that attack the bottom of society without considering the majority of the UK.
Benefit fraud is according to the Government estimate worth just £1.2bn a year – or less than 1% of welfare spending. Compare that to the £70bn lost to the Treasury’s coffers through tax avoiding businesspeople. So why does the Labour Party think the solution is to remove benefits from the most unfortunate or even those who are in work but still have to claim benefits to make a living-wage? When there are so many people chasing every job it is surely better to invest in growth and more jobs, hence reducing the number of people claiming benefits.
Here Owen Jone's article highlights why the Labour Party is enthralled by ex consultants / business people and doesn’t seem to have a genuine voice outside the “Westminster Village”.
Polly Toynbee's article shows what Labour MPs should be trying to highlight - can it get worse when Tory policy removes benefit from children? Universal Credit and the Work Programme are two grandiose schemes that will cost more than they save. Reducing housing benefit will risk putting 800,000 homes out of reach of people on housing benefit.
Ed Miliband's interview with the Guardian suggests he will be being "playing safe" up to the next General Election, whether with the party or voters. We need more initiatives that grab the headlines that makes the electorate look towards better times e.g. investing in growth and jobs (in manufacturing). The Tory Party will gain a majority in 2015 unless Labour takes a risk by defining itself in the Centre of the current political spectrum - some would say that is now to the Left of Tony Blair.
By Jon Williams
P.S. Also hear this. HB.