Osborne’s ‘conference treat’ on welfare reform turning into a sticky mess

The benefits cap was wonderful politics for George Osborne - but now the politics is turning sticky as the reality of its impcat hits home.

Oh, it was such wonderful politics. The proposed ‘benefits cap’ of £500 per week – primarily aimed at larger poorer families living in the inner-cities who needed help with exorbitant rents to remain part of their communities – killed a clutch of birds with one stone for coalition ministers.

It was a popular policy with their chums in the press, put Labour in a difficult position and delivered a cut in spending. When George Osborne announced it at Conservative party conference last year, they cheered him to the rafters.

Well, it seems that now the reality of the impact of the policy has caught up with what was some fairly nifty positioning. The government has postponed the House of Lords second reading of the welfare reform bill which featured the benefits cap.

Ministers have taken advantage of the firestom surrounding News International and the traditional ‘Friday News Dump’ to announce a pause in the bill’s progress until the Autumn.

The pause was revealed on the Disability Alliance website:

The Government has been forced to delay the 2nd Reading of the flagship Bill in the Lords due to peers’ concerns over the people affected. DWP is suggesting other business has blocked progress but the surprise postponement till September from Tuesday will also give the government time to lobby peers and answer the queries raised in Disability Alliance’s legal challenge.

DWP suggests other parliamentary business has blocked progress but the surprise postponement, till September from Tuesday 19th July 2011, will also give the Government time to lobby peers and answer the queries raised in DA’s legal challenge.

It follows the Independent’s report this morning that chancellor George Osborne faced a rebellion within the coalition over the housing cap:

Lib Dem sources yesterday predicted that unless the Treasury backed down there would be a rebellion against the government’s welfare bill when it is debated in the House of Lords.

“I can’t see us voting for it as things currently stand,” said one senior Lib Dem figure in the Lords. “It is not just us. There are powerful people in the Conservative Party who are also opposed to this.”

The longer the bill takes to get through parliament, the trickier it will get for the coalition. The The Disability Alliance and The Broken of Britain campaign are looking to take on more aspects of the bill, especially the removal of Disability Living Allowance (DLA), which supports those with more severe disabilities.

The Disability Alliance has described the abolition of the DLA and replacement with the Personal Independence Payment as potentially having the effect of:

“Caus[ing] considerable hardship, isolation and exclusion for thousands of disabled people and their families who view DLA as an essential ‘lifeline’ of support.”

This is just the kind of thing that cross-benchers get nervous about. The politics of this will be very sticky for the government come the autumn – while the policy could be disastrous for some of the most vulnerable people in our society.

31 Responses to “Osborne’s ‘conference treat’ on welfare reform turning into a sticky mess”

  1. Calm Confusion

    RT @leftfootfwd: Osborne’s ‘conference treat’ on welfare reform turning into a sticky mess: //bit.ly/nkiOcn reports @DanielElton

  2. Michael

    Osborne’s ‘conference treat’ on welfare reform turning into a sticky mess l Left Foot Forward – //bit.ly/qHUXjs

  3. TheBiPolarBearMD

    Osborne’s ‘conference treat’ on welfare reform turning into a sticky mess l Left Foot Forward – //bit.ly/qHUXjs

  4. Daniel Elton

    Osborne’s ‘conference treat’ on welfare reform turning into a sticky mess: //bit.ly/nkiOcn reports @DanielElton

  5. Sue Marsh

    RT @leftfootfwd: Osborne’s ‘conference treat’ on welfare reform turning into a sticky mess //t.co/GGHw4Bs

  6. Atos Victims

    RT @leftfootfwd: Osborne’s ‘conference treat’ on welfare reform turning into a sticky mess //t.co/0cihCaF

  7. BendyGirl

    RT @leftfootfwd: Osborne’s ‘conference treat’ on welfare reform turning into a sticky mess //t.co/hAtE8p2

  8. Broken OfBritain

    Osborne’s ‘conference treat’ on welfare reform turning into a sticky mess | Left Foot Forward //fb.me/MRzRyb5y

  9. TheBiPolarBearMD

    RT @leftfootfwd: Osborne’s ‘conference treat’ on welfare reform turning into a sticky mess //t.co/hAtE8p2

  10. InternationalUNCUT

    Osborne’s ‘conference treat’ on welfare reform turning into a sticky mess | Left Foot Forward //fb.me/SCeefGny

  11. Broken OfBritain

    RT @leftfootfwd: Osborne’s ‘conference treat’ on welfare reform turning into a sticky mess //t.co/hAtE8p2

  12. Nila Patel

    Osborne’s ‘conference treat’ on welfare reform turning into a sticky mess | Left Foot Forward //fb.me/MRzRyb5y

  13. Pubteam

    RT @BrokenOfBritain: Osborne’s welfare reform turning into a sticky mess
    //fb.me/MRzRyb5y
    BULLINGDON GEORGE POOPS HIS PANTS OVER DLA

  14. Leon Wolfson

    It’d be nice if the Lords would do their job, yes.

  15. Claire OT

    RT @leftfootfwd: Osborne’s ‘conference treat’ on welfare reform turning into a sticky mess //t.co/hAtE8p2

  16. Mandy C

    Osborne’s ‘conference treat’ on welfare reform turning into a sticky mess | Left Foot Forward //fb.me/MRzRyb5y

  17. ray turner

    RT @leftfootfwd: Osborne’s ‘conference treat’ on welfare reform turning into a sticky mess //t.co/zqCIs7N #Populist

  18. Itsmotherswork

    “@raymondonia: RT @leftfootfwd: Osborne’s ‘conference treat’ on welfare reform turning into a sticky mess //t.co/QxkBr7A #Populist”

  19. Jill Hayward

    “@raymondonia: RT @leftfootfwd: Osborne’s ‘conference treat’ on welfare reform turning into a sticky mess //t.co/QxkBr7A #Populist”

  20. john

    “@raymondonia: RT @leftfootfwd: Osborne’s ‘conference treat’ on welfare reform turning into a sticky mess //t.co/QxkBr7A #Populist”

  21. ray turner

    “@raymondonia: RT @leftfootfwd: Osborne’s ‘conference treat’ on welfare reform turning into a sticky mess //t.co/QxkBr7A #Populist”

  22. Liam Barker

    RT @leftfootfwd: Osborne’s ‘conference treat’ on welfare reform turning into a sticky mess //t.co/0cihCaF

  23. Mr. Sensible

    Hadn’t heard about this; what a day to berry bad news…

  24. Leon Wolfson

    Let’s be fair, it’s absolutely not a Tory thing though. It’s a politician thing in general.

  25. Chris Salter

    “@raymondonia: RT @leftfootfwd: Osborne’s ‘conference treat’ on welfare reform turning into a sticky mess //t.co/QxkBr7A #Populist”

  26. Chris Salter

    RT @itsmotherswork “@raymondonia: RT @leftfootfwd: Osborne’s ‘conference treat’ on welfare reform… //t.co/QxkBr7A #Populist" #ppnuk

  27. Steven Preece

    Are Osbourne's plans for a benefit cap unraveling? //fb.me/WGOyTKBF

  28. Clare Fernyhough

    Yes considerable hardship like losing your home and the means to support yourself.

    You cannot make the low paid, the poor and the vulnerable just disappear by passing laws that make sure that they cannot afford any accommodation. Millions of people will be made completely homeless if these reforms are no repealed: the government seem unwilling to acknowledge the fact that they will have a humanitarian crisis on their hands if not.

  29. Leon Wolfson

    Clare, I’m sorry, you seem to be confusing what they want – to use the system as a means of tipping the voting scheme by causing a mass-migration of the poor Northwards – as an unintended side effect. No, they know exactly what they’re doing.

  30. Chocolate

    Siiiiigh! We are not a poor country who can blamelessly wring our hands and say that whilst we would love to be able to support the vulnerable and those without work in a time of job scarcity, unfortunately, the funds just do not exist. Government is making daily decisions about what to spend our millions on and it seems more and more of us are ceasing to be easily snowed by the mantra attempting to justify their actions. They must be rubbing their hands together in glee at the gift of the hacking distraction.

    The ‘moral’ stance they wrap their behaviour in is to fuel the notion of the ‘undeserving poor’. Far more £ could be harnessed by tackling tax avoidance than limiting benefits. History shows removing one benefit results in expenditure elswhere and more provision to fill gaps and adress the results.

    As for forcing families to move… we can drown in resarch that shows the importance of stable homes to families and communities, the stress of moving, and how easily fragile family support systems can be shattered. Of course there is a glut of cheaper housing options going begging while wretches lie on chaise lounges attended by benefit butlers… isn’t there????

  31. jane lloyd

    Are Osbourne's plans for a benefit cap unraveling? //fb.me/WGOyTKBF

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