Budget Day

At last – the waiting is over. I always think that not knowing is much worse than knowing. And now we know!

Yes – there are things in the Budget that will affect everyone to some extent – but at least it is everyone.

First in line for the pain are the bankers (with a new levy) and then there are those high earners who try to sneak extra for themselves by taking some of their earnings as shares or something that attracts Capital Gains tax at 18% rather than the 40% rate of income tax for higher earners. Capital Gains tax will rise to 28% which hopefully will stop such shenanigans.

The up side of the budget was the long awaited linking of pensions to earnings, the injection of £2billion to the child part of tax credits and the raising of the tax threshold taking 880,000 out of tax and putting about £200 back in low and middle income earners pockets. That is the first step on raising that tax threshold to £10,000. All these are very good for Haringey – as will be the freezing of Council Tax for two years!  And no extra duty on wine, beer and fuel!

But – the hard stuff was the freeze on public sector pay for two years (but the lowest paid – up to £21,000 per annum would not be frozen and would get a flat rate pay rise of £250 for each of those years) and the rise to 20% onVAT. Food and childrens’ clothes and all those items that are currently VAT exempt will remain exempt.

Welfare reform is now on the cards. The system will be reformed to help people into work rather than remain dependant on welfare.

Lots of detail still to come – but in broad terms – that’s the way we are going to fill the gaping hole in our finances and pay down the deficit.

We’ve been living beyond our means personally and the banks have been gambling and lost our money nationally. There was always going to be a day of reckoning – and I guess this is it.

Labour, in the form of their acting Leader, Harriet Harman, responded to the budget – but it was quite a worn out, nothing much to say and no new ideas sort of tired response.

For me – the protection of the most vulnerable was the most important part of this austerity budget. And at least the broadest shoulders are going to bear most of the financial burden.

0 thoughts on “Budget Day

  1. “Welfare reform is now on the cards. The system will be reformed to help people into work rather than remain dependant on welfare.”

    I don’t recall seeing anything about massive job creation and training programs so that there’s work to go into and help to get the skills needed to do it, stronger requirements for employers to make their workplace and working practice accessible to everyone so that people with disabilities can get a job in a workplace that’s as accessible to them as it is to their currently non-disabled colleagues, subsidised childcare or incentives for employers to provide their own so that parents of young children do actually get a financial benefit from working, measures to prevent sexism, racism or disablism in recruiting practices, and so on.

    Cutting people’s benefits does not force them into work, it forces them into poverty. The way to get people off benefits and into work is to make work a more attractive – and above all, available – alternative.

  2. One of the reasons I voted for you was your party’s promise not to raise VAT. Can you give me one good reason why I should trust you or your party, let alone vote for either, ever again?

  3. For me – the protection of the most vulnerable was the most important part of this austerity budget. And at least the broadest shoulders are going to bear most of the financial burden.

    This is paternalistic twaddle! How does the 20% VAT rate (which you campaigned against!) help protect the most vulnerable? Will there be a real increase in pensions ? What hope for new jobs ? And of course it is the public sector that is being constantly brow beaten; I assume that’s teachers and nurses ? What with pre-budget news items talking about closing libraries and withdrawing support for”Stonehenge” (a national icon and a national disgrace) being singled out to headline the cuts programme I wonder what kind of un-cultured people we have running this new government. And no mention of Trident – now theres a way to save some money …

  4. Let’s look at this highly intellectual analysis Lynne.

    1) Pain for the bankers.

    Well it’s 77% attributable to cuts and 23% on tax rises. Most tax rises are of course not being felt by the banks who of course caused all this.

    2) Capital gains tax.

    Perhaps a rise of CGT from 18% to 28% will stop such shenanigans. Why would it? It’s still 12% less than the 40% income tax dodge you yourself quote.

    3) Taking 880,000 people out of tax.

    What jobs do these people- mainly women working part time do Lynne? Could it be public sector work? So you are right, you may well take 880,000 people out of the tax system. And onto the dole.

    4) The hard stuff.

    Well if you mean George’s whisky bill that is of course untouched. But the quadruple whammy of rising prices, upwards inflation and a pay freeze with a VAT increase tagged on is a nightmare for everyone else.

    5) Welfare reform.

    Single mothers- or welfare scroungers according to Dave’s description of people on benefits yesterday- forced to work once their children are 5 or facing no benefits might just about be palatable to most LibDems if it came with any kind of assistance with childcare. But is doesn’t. Name the jobs that allow a single mum to drop her kids off at school for 9 and then leave at say 2 to collect them from school? See cim’s comments above.

    6) The banks have been gambling and have lost our money nationally.

    The only comment you make that makes any sense and is anywhere near true. Not of course a line pursued by Dave or George who say it was all the Labour party. And not the people who will be paying to clear up the mess.

    If you had any principles at all you would resign. But you won’t. I think you should hang your head in shame about what you have become a part of. But you won’t.

  5. “first in line for pain are the bankers”

    Unbelievable. You must be the only person in the country looking at the budget and picking out as the headline announcement a banking tax which barely scratches the bonus culture in the City. Everyone else picks out the rise in VAT, the least progressive of taxes, to 20%.

    I find it shocking how quickly you have resorted to desperate spin to try to hide the Lib Dems shameless capitulation to the Tory agenda.

    Will the last remaining Lib Dem voter please turn out the lights at 4 Cowley Street.

  6. Public sector worker’s earning 22K e.g. Paramedics will get a pay freeze, which once you factor in VAT, family tax credits being cut and inflation rising at 2.7%p.a. means they are in fact getting a pay cut.
    CGT @28% is 12% less than the rest of Europe.
    The rest writes itself.

    I’ve mentioned before about your shameful handwringing, but plainly, for all your self satisfaction, shameless photo-opportunism professing to be ‘visible’ in the constituency and the twaddle you write on here- you’re just badly out of your depth and out of touch with your constituents.
    When I think back to your campaign in 2005, (which I thought then was particularly nasty, hounding Barbar Roach)- We now realise that it was all for the thirst of power- being born into privilage as you were- a natural crypto-Tory- exemplified in your dismissive comment regarding Harriet Harman’s response. You’re wrong- she was spot-on.
    To agree with this budget, and to have been suckered into thinking that ‘we’ve been living beyond our means’ is frankly appalling to hear from a LibDem.

    It’s just a pity that you can’t sack your MP on the grounds of gross hypocrisy.

  7. Have we learnt nothing from Japan? Cuts without growth equals a very long recession. It is a disgrace that we are stuck with this marriage from hell for 5 years. 5 years at looking at ‘nodding dog’ Clegg, 5 years at insincere, hypocritical blogs by our local MP, 5 years at which to marvel at the disappearing (not big) society, 5 years in which talent will once again be replaced by entitlement. How great it would be if we all had Ryness millions like Lynne to fall back on.

    New politics? You can keep it.

  8. Lynne Featherstone says: ‘For me – the protection of the most vulnerable was the most important part of this austerity budget’

    Mark Easton says: ‘Except for the very rich, this budget hits the poorest 10% hardest’ (and that means women in particular)

  9. I think largely it was a good budget.

    A few things that need explaining to people though.

    VAT will NOT rise on household heating bills – that stays at 5%.

    Benefits – how will they be simplified? Labour made a mess of the system and there really are people who can’t get support when they need it. My partner suffers from bipolar disorder and because we are a couple (though not civilly partnered) when he was ill recently and couldn’t work, he couldn’t get any housing benefit support because i’m expected to pay for him. Is that right Lynne?? I am self employed and my income barely covers me let alone two of us. A little support would have helped. Instead he had to go out to work when he really shouldn’t have as his mental health was poor. Separate to that he was a student a few years ago and because he hadn’t paid enough NI’s in one particular year, he couldn’t claim any JSA. Is that right???? He’s been working since he was 18. He’s now 29. Surely he’s paid enough NI’s to get a little benefit when he needs it. Who should I raise this issue with? He does work now and then at the moment doing casual work at museums and libraries and a little for my company when we can afford it but when he’s not working, he’s not on any unemployment figures. Is that right??? He’s not a shirker by any means but he does need support occasionally. Labour made a mess of this. I hope the Lib Dems in Gvmt can sort this out!!!

    Other than that i’m generally happy. Grit your teeth Lib Dems. You’ll come good at the end of all of this. The criticism you’re getting is expected but somewhat hypocritical from a Labour Party which saw the biggest rise between rich and poor for years. People do have short memories!!

  10. Well if your living as a couple in other words sharing the food sleeping in the same bed then yes it is right for god sake.

    Labour did not make a mess of this at all, Bipolar is a mental health problem if you like we call it an issue.

    I’m Paraplegic and cannot get housing or rent allowance, and I’m married because my wife works 16 hours a week is that right! well yes it is.

    The fact is now your boy friend will need to go through three new medicals two by labour and one by the Tories, and it’s highly likely his bipolar will be deemed fit to work, and that means if he refuses to work no benefits at all

  11. Ashley says “People do have short memories!!” Perhaps those with the shortest memories include all the Lib Dems who sought election in a campaign that warned of a “Tory Bombshell” – a rise in VAT. It is embarassing to see the likes of Vince Cable squirming on TV trying to pretend that this wasn’t the intended message. So, Lynne, for those of us with no experience of being in a political party, let alone standing for election, please can you give us some narrative about how the Tory Bombshell poster came to be? Was it a result of intense discussions about what Lib Dem policy would or should be ? Was it thought to be a good way of undermining the Tories ? Was it determined by the party leaders or grass roots party members? How much did it cost ? Why was VAT consisdered to be a headlining issue as opposed to many other issues ? How sincere was it ? Perhaps if you can describe to us how this poster/policy came to be chosen it will explain to us why it is so easy now for your leader to forget all about it.

  12. Just prepare for the stock answer….
    “It’s a coalition blah blah, some you win, some you lose…..would you rather the Tories were running the country themselves without our influence….it could have been a lot worse…..it’s what the country chose at the election etc etc”.

    When the ConnedLibDem allaince goes belly up, which it will in spectacular fashion, I can’t wait for the excuses to come pouring out, but by then it will be too little too late- and as for Hornsey and Wood Green, the banner headline in a few years will be
    “ConnedLibDems can’t win here”

  13. You’re getting deeper and deeper into it, Lynne – a morass of self-delusion, dishonesty and deception. A smoke and mirrors world where a massive Tory attack on the people of this country is dressed up as being “fair” and “protecting the most vulnerable”.
    It’s not too late Lynne, but it will be soon. Resign the Lib Dem whip now and speak for the people of your constituency, or face the consequences at the next election – or maybe even sooner. If you want to be MP for Hornsey and Wood Green, you’d better start representing us soon, or you’ll be out on your ear, just like Barbara Roche was.

  14. Pingback: Brontides » Blog Archive » What is ’shock doctrine’?

  15. Sold out…

    Lynne, so you support sacking nurses, doctors, social workers, teachers, council workers etc. and you are happy to see an increase in VAT while millions will be pushed out of work in all sectors and you appear to believe as the Tories do that THE BIG SOCIETY will sort it all out – and what is THE BIG SOCIETY? Hillfield Park Street Festival.

    You are simply not the person I thought I was voting for… 5 years is going to be a long time for regret.

    Michael

  16. I joned the liberals and I’ve left again, I think my voting days are over they are all the bloody same….

  17. Michael – get real. What would you have done in the situation they are in? Damned if they do, damned if they don’t. Politicians have to make tough decisions with what they are faced with. Perhaps they should resign for six months and let you and all the others who moan take over for a while?????? I wonder what would happen?

    Robert – re: the benefits situation. What i am saying is that just because you have a partner doesn’t mean that the partner has the means to support the other person. I’m saying that the system for you, me and all of us should be made fairer and recognise that, if you are on a low income and your partner falls into needy times, the state should give some support that’s all. My measly sum does not stretch to 2 people. End of! And i think the coalition should tackle this issue. I’m confident, given time, that they will. And i’m sorry but Labour could have dealt with this over 13 years and they didn’t want to!

  18. Separate to all of this. Isn’t it interesting that media/press HATE the Lib Dems. They don’t deserve all this onslaught. They have got some of their measures through but have had to compromise on others. they’d have done the same in a Labour/Lib Dem Coalition too. I wonder why the media is so anti-Lib Dem? A party that is about to deliver an ELECTED House of Lords and major and historic civil liberties reforms. The answer is simple, they are a threat to the establishment and the status quo. Unfortunately it seems a lot of the public rather like the status quo. Or at least they can’t see through the media spin. Very sad indeed!!

  19. Yes we did have the support did we not! it was called income support, but sadly Brown who is a total dim wit decided it should go.

    But if your partener is Bipolar he should be getting IB or ESA, he should also be getting DLA, Disability living allowance it’s paid to people who are working no matter how much income they have, this would give him an income nearer to 250 a week.

  20. Robert. He’s given up bothering to try to get support. He only needs it now and then. He’d rather be working and is working when he can. The system is too complicated and complex that you lose the will to live. Again, LABOUR making things ridiculously bureaucratic. They love their ‘systems’. The end is nigh for all those system thank God! And yes if that means losing some civil servants who should never have had those jobs in the first place, then so be it

  21. Are you going to get an elected house of Lords are you going to give us PR or AV, having a referendum does not mean people will vote it in.

    The real problem is when will the referendum come into being this term or next term, what happens if your not in power in five years time.

    The Liberal should not be seen as being back to the old Whigs and less being a copy of some second socialist home for old farts from labour.

    But the next election will show what the people and the country thinks of the Liberals.

  22. incidentally he can’t get DLA. He’s not disabled enough. ESA – nope because he was a student for a while and hasn’t paid enough NI’s and JSA the same. Scandal. Sort it out Lynne! I’ve faith in you!!!

  23. Look Robert, politics isn’t about being the purest of the pure. No one in history has ever made progress in politics by holding out for every last principle.

    Look at Leo Abse, the Labour MP who helped to get the law changed on legalisation of homosexuality in the 60s. He had to compromise all the way but (however much he is still criticised by the gay media and others) it was him that got the law changed and paved way for greater change later on.

  24. Ashley
    If you compare the blogs posted by Lynnne Featherstone on here pre the election i.e. everything she campaigned for and drew support on, with the current state of play, you will probably understand why the feedback on here takes the shape it does.
    We’re talking about the integrity of principles and basic honesty.
    It is not moaning.

    Freezing pay on the low paid, once VAT & inflation kicks in will see those on lower incomes effectively taking a paycut- the levy on banks doesn’t even account for 0.001% on the banks’ Earnings before interest.

    So you may get the odd crumb (an elected Lords & AV). So what?
    It’s nowhere near as radical as totally abolishing the Lords is it? and as Robert says, it will still have to be voted in.

    No, Ashley, it’s not moaning.
    When you vote for someone who does an about-face on everything they campaigned under, consituents have a right to voice their opnion.

    The former MP was voted out after the current MP made political capital out of the way she voted on certain issues.
    It’s exactly the same thing here, except Ms.Featherstone campaigned passionately AGAINST manypolicies she is now excusing away.

    And to Ms.Featherstone, you were at great pains to point out how great you were in receiving an award for this website and you ‘how it’s such a great communicative tool….’
    Well, why not try using it to have some dialogue with your constituents about the ConDem budget?

  25. OK Ashley, maybe a greater degree of concensus and even compromise between the political parties would be welcome on some issues. But what I think most people have been bemoaning here is the hypocricy- campaigning on an issue and then, within a matter of weeks and after entering into a coalition, advocating the exact opposite.

    As for media haterd of the LibDems: they might have been the butt of the sandals and beards jokes but if there was any real HATRED in the media over the past few months I would have thought it had been mainly at Gordon Brown’s expense and very personal and unpleasant it got too.

    And as for the Lib Dems being a threat to the establishment, well try googling “Bullingdon Club” and you will be reminded what the establishment looks like, and these are Lynnes new classmates!

    Having encouraged people to vote for Lynne in the last general election I think I would appreciate very much if she would now let us know what distinguishes her from a Tory; over the past few weeks the clear blue waters appear to have turned a murky sort of yellow.

  26. I don’t call 21k plus a year low pay. As for establishment. The bullingdon club is a smoke screen used by the media and labour. And I actually find the constant talk of it quite insulting. I’m not bothered what the background as long as they do a good job. The real establishment in this country is the authoritarian, civil liberties attacking, patronising brigade. The kind that puts people like Richard Branson And alan sugar on a pedastol and presided over a survival of the fittest nation for 13 years. The lib send may have had to compromise but the policies they’ve managed to get through including restoring pensions to earnings can’t be sniffed at. Things labour failed to deliver! Give lynne and her team a chance. And how many policies from pure labour or Tory parties were changed promptly on entering office?!! Infact you’ve probably got more delivered of what you voted for with the lib dems than ever you would with majority gvmt.

  27. And carl, there are tons of things which distinguish lynne from the Tories.you are taking such a black and White simplistic attitude to it all. She doesn’t agree with all the Tories agenda in the same way they don’t agree with all the lib dem agenda. They are having to compromise in order to bring stable government. Have you always got your way in life? In the workplace ?

  28. Well the best thing is to wait and see, the next election will either see a Tory Government which I think it will be on it’s own, or a labour one, we will then see how high or low the liberals will end up. My feelings will be the old Labour farts who formed the Dem’s will retire walk away go home leaving the Liberal a very very small party

  29. And carl, there are tons of things which distinguish lynne from the Tories.

    Such as ?

  30. … there are tons of things which distinguish lynne from the Tories.

    Such as ?

  31. And all because people like you couldn’t cope with coalition politics Robert. Politics which happens all over the place including in these islands. Everything in life is about compromise why should politics be any different? And why, if the policies are so bad, won’t the Tories suffer too?

  32. Ok carl, would we be having this debate had labour and the lib dems done a deal! ? I may add that in Scotland labour and the libs were in power for 8 years. Did that make them one party? Did that mean they had no differences? No of course it didn’t!

  33. Ashley, I’ve never taken part in a blog before and I’m finding it quite interesting to see how one gets drawn in to discussing issues that are actually some distance apart from the original starting point. My “complaint” was that Lynne Featherstone, irrespective of what party she is a member of, appears to have forgotten some of the main issues on which she sought election. The fact that one can swerve on such a basic issue as VAT, and so quickly, brings into question the issue of integrity- I don’t believe it is simply a matter of accepting that you don’t always get your own way.

    At the moment I can’t say that I support any of the main political parties; I was disillusioned with labour because of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and yes there were other issues too. I admired the LibDems stance on the war with Iraq and all credit to Charles Kennedy for steering them through this difficult stance. At the same time, for the last few years Lynne Featherstone has been a vociferous MP, often voicing what I consider a positive attitude on issues such as equal opportunities. Therefore, I put party politics aside … encouraged friends to vote for Lynne. Now within weeks of the election I find that she can’t simply say “no, this is not what we campaigned for but we’ll have to accept it for now”. Instead she is, as someone else has said, “loyally dishonest”! There are also so many other things that she says in her austerity budget blog that deserve to be challenged and no doubt will be over the next few weeks – I’ll be interested to see what she herself has to say (I am assuming that people who set up blogs get round eventually to themselves taking part?).
    But Ashley I feel we have drifted on to other territory; I don’t like the idea of governments doing “deals” – I prefer open and meaningful debate. And if as you say there are “tons” of things which separate Lynne from the Tories how can she sit comfortably on their benches?

  34. Lynne,
    You say ‘We’ve been living beyond our means personally.’ Could you justify that statement please?
    You may have been buying the most expensive bubble bath on the market these past few years (although to be fair, your principles seem to be very bargain basement) but many of your constituents will have worked hard, saved what they could, looked after their children, shopped around for food and clothes, had modest holidays, taken advantage of our local parks and playgrounds, helped out their friends and neighbours, given their time voluntarily to local schools and clubs and put their hands in their pockets for other good causes.
    In short, there are many people who are trying to be good citizens. These are the people I think you have let down. You may disagree – so test the theory. Resign and campaign on the Budget you have endorsed so fully. How about it?

  35. I’ve got the answer Helen. Why don’t you stand for parliament and see if you can do any better? How about it?

  36. Ashley
    You seem to have a curious acceptance of the status quo, and that ‘things’ can’t be challenged nor hypocrisy taken to task.
    If you want to bumble along going ‘oh well, never mind’, that’s up to you.
    There just doesn’t seem any point berating those who feel strongly and passionately about the issues that shape our lives.

    and why wouldn’t anybody else be able to do better? look at the current shower out there!

  37. Do it Nick. Stand! Let’s see what you can do. Keep me posted. The point is, this is NOT the status quo. This is all very different and you just can’t cope with it.

  38. Let me simplify it for you my friend.

    Here’s a load of policies I stand for.
    Here’s a load I don’t stand for/can’t abide/won’t tolerate
    Vote for me on this stance.

    I’m in power
    You know all that gumph I have professed to philisophically disagree with?
    I agree with it now.

    Ta ta

  39. I don’t think Fabio Capello is a great manager. So I must become the England manager.

    I don’t like the journalism in the Daily Mail. So I must purchase and run a newspaper.

    I don’t like Haringey Council at all. So I must become a councillor forthwith.

    I don’t like the coalition. So I must become… Well I’m not sure really what i have to become but I feel sure that the one sympathiser here will tell me.

  40. lol…Adam. I am not saying i like everything that’s been decided by the coalition. There are several things I really hate but there’s a lot i like. What i am saying is try and understand the pressure politicians are under (whatever party). The way we all talk, we make it out to be a simple task. It aint. And civil servants get in the way too with their advice!! The Lib Dems weren’t aware of everything until they were in power. Do you really think Lynne takes pleasure in doing some of the things she didn’t want to do? As for Fabio Capello, journalism etc. Actually you couldn’t just jump into those jobs. But being a politician is something you don’t need training for. They are actually one of us. Stop seeing it as us and them.

  41. A damning verdict on yesterday’s budget from Channel 4’s ‘Fact Check’. It hits the poor hardest now – and hits them even harder in later years. The conclusion reads:

    “George Osborne may have vaunted the progressive credentials of his budget in the Commons yesterday. But independent analysis shows he owes much of that to the past government.

    The new measures announced in the coalition’s budget will, according to the Institute for Fiscal Studies, hurt the poor more than the rich.”

    I would be very interested to in your response to this Lynne – have they got it wrong?

    http://blogs.channel4.com/factcheck/2010/06/23/does-the-budget-hurt-the-rich-more-than-the-poor/

  42. Dear Lynne,

    Earlier this morning I listened to your leader being interviewed on Radio 4. Am I correct that between all the rhetoric he seemed to be agreeing that the only way the budget can be said to hit the richest 10% hardest is by implementing proposed Labour policies and, therefore, it is only the “regressive” aspects that have been added by the ConDems ?

    And I don’t think Cameron answered Harriets Harman’s questions very well in PM’s questions yesterday; he quickly lapsed in to rhetoric and I thought he addressed the Honourable Lady in a very macho, sexist manner, cheap jokes included;”the red book or in the case of the Hon. Lady probably the un-read book” Ah ah ah, very funny – but it managed to get a nodding smile from your leader … What do you think about this Lynne ?

  43. The following is extracted from Ms.Featherstone’s blog a few weeks back- “Orange award- to me”. Re. Her website.

    “The internet….is about communicating. It’s about creating a relationship between the politician and the people, because in the end, you can’t market a bad product (well not for long) and you can’t use it cynically just for didactic statements & vote getting, people aren’t stupid”.

    So, where is the communication on this subject (the budget)? The one that has drawn the most responses since the election?
    Have you got your head in the sand or have you run away from it?

    You are absolutely correct elsehwere though- “You can’t market a bad product…”
    But I put it to you that you have used this website cynically, to pump up support for a social agenda that you’ve since completely disowned, in favour of peddling and pandering to a Tory agenda.
    If you don’t want to respond to your constituents, check out the BBC, Ch4 or any independent (i.e. non-Tory) parts of the media, they all state the facts- THIS BUDGET WILL MEAN THE POOR AND THE NEEDY WILL SUFFER.

    Like many other contributors to this blog, I ask you to resign the whip and fight for your constituents, before your legacy is truly tarnished.

  44. “I don’t call 21k plus a year low pay.”

    Average house price in Haringey = £382,692. Average price of a flat in Haringey, perhaps more suitable for a first-time buyer = £265,755 So a “highly paid” person on £22,000 a year would need a mortgage 12 times their annual income to buy a flat in Lynne’s constituency. Actually you’d probably “only” need a 10x mortage as you’d also need a deposit of at least 10%. But then how do you save up a 10% deposit when you’re getting paid £22,000 a year, taking home about £15,000 after tax and NI and paying about £6,000 a year in rent? That’s before travel costs, food and so on. And before the VAT rise increases the costs of various other essentials still further.

    Someone like Lynne who comes from a family of millionaires, who has never had to worry about money and who owns a million-pound house, probably thinks £21,000 is plenty to get by on.

    For someone like me who works damn hard to earn just a little over that amount, who has been scrimping and saving for a decade to desperately try and scrape together a deposit so that I can get a foot on the housing ladder in time to pay off the mortgage by the time I retire (as my pension will be worth almost nothing), it’s really not very much at all.

    And for my millionaire MP to say that “we’ve all been living beyond our means” in the past few years is simply insulting. Maybe that’s true of you, Lynne, but not the rest of us, not the people who actually voted for you and put you in power in your £100,000 a year ministerial job.

    I feel disgusted. I feel betrayed. I feel very, very let down.

  45. You’re right, Nick. The Lib Dems are the most hypocritical, dishonest, devious bunch ever. “New politics”? What a sick joke!
    I stick to my earlier suggestion – we should attempt to recall Lynne Featherstone on the basis that she no longer represents the people of her constituency.
    The Lib Dems should like that, as they are such strong believers in local democracy. Oh, sorry, I forgot, that was before the election.
    How about it? Why don’t we try and get her recalled? Even if it doesn’t succeed, it should get some publicity…

  46. Lynne- I posted my blog post earlier. Of a group of 9 single parents, 7 who work, and 2 who were hoping to get back to work and uni, once their kids hit school next year- 4 of us are going to have consider moving house, leaving our areas, and our childrens schools. The others are going to have endure severe hardship to stay where they are- instead of topping up their housing allowance(they are supposedly allowed the cost of a property) by £100 a month, it goes to two or nearly three in some cases. They will find this I suppose- the problem is what do they go without to find it? Food? Clothes?

    This budget destroys working single parents, and calls the thing that keeps them working, LHA, a ‘benefit trap’. When the trap is the lack of accomodation.

    If we give up work- we lose the thing that will lead to use being in work our entire lives. If we give up work, and leave the areas we live in, we may get by- but unfortunately living away from your support networks, with very young children, and further away the from the train and bus links that have now pushed properties out of our price range- makes it very difficult.

    This budget massively disproportionately affects single parents. It removes their jobs, it takes away their housing, and and for those who manage to retain both- it will take considerable hardship.

    Look at the figures for who claims LHA, and what it actually covers. This hurts and criminalises those who are marginalised, but it also takes working single parents and pushes them out of their communities, and closes the door to being able to go to work. These are teh women already most disadvantaged in the labour market, and by the cost of running a household on just one income.

    This isn’t just asking people to cope with leaner times- this is guaranteeing that it is absolutely impossible to not live in poverty, if you have young children on your own. No matter how hard you work. Think about that Lynne.

  47. Lynne- I know you give a shit about domestic violence. What do you think the effect is, of the state ensuring that any woman who leaves her husband, will be in poverty. What are the effects of that Lynne? Think it through- I know you know this.

  48. Right then…I earn less than 20k a year. And after tax and expenditure on a self employed income it probably work out at about 12k a year. I have big debts which i have to pay and which were run up by me in the late 90s early 2000s. Yes my fault. My partner has bipolar disorder and occasionally, needs support. He can’t get ANY because we are considered a couple (though not married etc). He can’t get JSA due to not paying enough NI’s when he was a student. That means we are currently living on £85 for the next fortnight (with several bills left to pay which will have to wait). I’m not even able to put away for my tax because i have to live day to day. I can’t get credit, loans, overdrafts etc because of my bad debt rating. And nor can he because he’s not even a figure in the statistics. He works when he can and when the public sector body he does casual work for can be arsed to pay him from their ivory towers, he gets a few pennies to keep on top of his own debts. When you ARE ACTUALLY really suffering like we are. Literally hand to mouth then please come back here and complain. I’m sorry but it’s outrageous that people on 30k a year are claiming child benefit and tax credits. So many people don’t know they are born. The system needs to be changed and to be focussed on the people who really DO need it. And it also needs people to stop expecting all the time. I’m happy if we have food, clothes and heating. And none of those things have been affected in the budget. Heating will stay at 5% VAT – no change. it’s time for us all to get our priorities right. I did live beyond my means and i am now paying the price. Not easy but i’ll get through it, Lynne and her colleagues have my 100% support. And as for being hypocrites, no party can ever deliver on 100% of its promises. EVER!! Why can’t you people welcome restoring pensions to earnings, taking millions out of tax, taxing the rich more with CGT etc, investing in social housing (all things Labour failed to do). You cannot have everything in life but these are steps in the right direction and over time i am sure Mr Clegg and co will deliver more. Give it time. But at the minute they HAVE to balance the books. Simple as!