Sunday, 19 July 2015

Welfare Reform Bill debate tomorrow will define Labour - back to the 1970s again or supporting change?

Tomorrow the Labour party will have to debate the second reading of the Welfare Reform Bill. It contains measures which the interim leader, Harriet Harman, said a week ago that Labour would not oppose.
Except that Corbyn, Burnham and Cooper [3 out of 4 leadership candidates] then said that actually they would oppose it. So Harriet backtracked and tried to come up with some sort of compromise that the warring factions of Labour can more or less agree on.
So, whereas previously the welfare reforms were ones which Labour should not oppose because people “want us to listen to their concerns and we’ve got to recognise why it is that the Tories are in government”, now they are unacceptable and hurt the poor. Todays Labour Party are oblivious to the way that the welfare system has caused millions of people to lead miserable, benefit-dependent lives without satisfaction or dignity. They should embrace universal credit, the Living Wage, the benefit cap and the reforms that will create a benefits system that helps people back to work, giving them hope of a brighter future. This will be a crucial test for Labour. Will it finally stand up for refrom, for people who work hard and do the right thing, and for those who want a way out of welfare? Or will it carry on with an approach that has failed our country.