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More Welfare cuts – an open letter to Amber Rudd MP, PPS to George Osborne

October 9, 2012

Dear Amber,

I am sure you realise how many people across Hastings & Rye will be concerned by the comments that your ‘new’ boss, George Osborne, has been making at Conservative Party Conference in Birmingham, about further billions-of-pounds-worth of cuts to the Welfare budget.

Not only has he made these announcements without any agreement from the Liberal Democrats, but he has sought to scotch efforts that my party is making to ensure that fairness is hard-wired into the Government’s fiscal plans.

Liberal Democrats are clear that in working to secure the health of the economy, those with the broadest shoulders should be required to take their fair share of the pain. I am proud that local Lib Dem, 22 year old George Potter from Brede, made the needs and rights of sick and disabled people a key issue at Lib Dem Conference in Brighton last month (see previous post).

So, as the newly appointed parliamentary private secretary to the Chancellor, I want to know what you will be saying to George Osborne on behalf of constituents and their dependents, many of whom have been let down by the failed regeneration initiatives of the previous Labour Government, and who are still supported by working age benefits?

Will you make George Osborne understand how important it is that this Government acts, and is seen to act, fairly? And that taxes on wealth, rather than income, are the place to start in order to ensure that the poorest in our society are not disproportionately affected by the economic situation – created largely by the need to staunch the wounds inflicted on the economy by the richest few?

There is no doubt that we are in an economic mess. But thanks to the low interest rates that have been secured by the Coalition Agreement, we are in a position to borrow against the Government’s balance sheet in order to invest more in growth and secure Funding for Lending, the Green Investment Bank and Vince Cable’s new Business Bank.

Yet in order to have any claim on remaining a civilised society, we must make sure that our most vulnerable are protected.

How will you ensure that this happens for the people that need such protection in Hastings & Rye?

If I had been elected as our MP back in 2010, I would not hesitate to say these things to the Coalition Government of which you are now a part. But will you?

I am disappointed that you failed to support the Hands off the Conquest campaign in response to the recent Shaping our Future hospital consultation. You must not fail on this. And as the PPS to the Chancellor you have the opportunity to make a real difference.

As with the Health reconfiguration, people’s lives depend on it.

Yours truly,

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One Comment
  1. Caroline Gibbins permalink

    Well said, Nick. I do so wish you had been elected in 2010 but, sadly, we have Amber Rudd! Please keep up the pressure on her to protect the vulnerable in society. All of those who are disabled or suffering from chronic health problems are relying on you to support us. It is interesting that Mr Cameron never marginalised disabled people whilst his disabled young son was still alive. I was very sad for him when he lost his precious son as it must have been dreadful for him and his wife. However, does he actually care about the NHS now that he is not having to make use of its services for his son? He always used to say that we should be proud of our NHS (which I still am, having worked for the NHS for well over 20 years before being forced to take early retirement through ill-health, when I was 50 ) and he used to sing the praises of NHS staff. Now, it seems, he has a hatred of those who are chronically sick or disabled and he is doing all he can to stir up the media against some of the most vulnerable in society. This is abhorrent in what is supposed to be a civilised society. Please keep up your good work. A lot of us are very grateful to you for speaking out on our behalf. Thank you. Caroline Gibbins

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