Another great guest post today, this time it’s Jen from Mum of One.
After the drama of the election begins to fade in the minds of many of the electorate our thoughts inevitably now turn to what will happen next.
The Tories have promised to cut the overall deficit by £30B, including £12B in unspeciﬁed welfare cuts. It is likely that even they were not expecting to actually have to do this, but instead to be seen to compromise with the Lib Dems and back down on some of these cuts had the coalition returned. Now with The Lib Dems all but obliterated they have no-one to cut a deal with and big promises to keep.
But what will these welfare cuts look like? The introduction of the welfare state under Atlee aimed to end poverty from ‘the cradle to the grave’ by way of the NHS and the National Insurance Act. Free, accessible healthcare, family allowance and a national retirement pension scheme were implemented via National Insurance. With David Cameron promising to maintain health spending to protect the NHS it is welfare that is going to take the hit.
But how much more can it really take? The bedroom tax, zero hours contracts, a lack of affordable housing and the increasing cost of private rental has already pushed many families into poverty. A recent study by Oxford University suggested the number of people using food banks will double to over two million a year if these cuts are made.
By Autumn we should know exactly what George Osbourne and Iain Duncan Smith plan to do. I fear it will not be a pretty sight and the welfare state may simply not survive.
Meanwhile Labour need to get their house in order and elect a new leader. This leader then has a major task ahead. He or she really needs to address the reasons for such a dramatic Tory victory, not just by looking at where Labour went wrong but also at what the Tories did right. What made the electorate vote in the way that they did?
What can we do over the next ﬁve years that will inspire voters to put their trust once again in a Labour government?
My advice: Stop apologising. When the governor of The Bank of England says the Labour Government were not to blame for what was essentially a global banking crisis, shout about that. I concede that THAT note was a particularly strong and damaging image this time around but move on from it.
If The Labour party truly stand for fairness, equality and social justice they need to be seen to do so. They need to make sure that people see how many of the Tory government proposals are exactly the opposite of this. How the proposed welfare cuts will be unfair and make life for already struggling families even harder. How the proposed cuts do nothing for equality but will in fact widen the already huge gap between the rich and the poor in this country. How scrapping the human rights act will endanger social justice.
The new leader has a mammoth task ahead, particularly when faced with a predominately right wing press but there is some hope. Almost 30K new members, including myself, joined the Labour party following the election. That is an extra 30K who are hopefully willing to help change things in ﬁve years time. But to change things we need to be heard, and is anyone out there still listening?
Jbmumofone is a parenting and lifestyle blog written by me, Jennifer Bath, a working mum to two little people. You can also find me rambling on Facebook, twitter, and pinterest, taking very bad selfies on Instagram and, if you really want a giggle, you can even see me attempting to fly on YouTube. Be kind.