The county’s children and pensioners are among the first to be hit after the government’s free swimming programme was cut at the end of July.
Government took away the measly £200,000 grant that kept the scheme going, with the council unable to find extra cash locally (it can, however, find £183,724 to keep Chief Executive, Chris Bull, brushing his teeth with champagne).
Herefordshire families receiving housing benefit have also been hit. Housing charity, Shelter, has said the average three bedroom household in the county will see an 8% drop in the amount they receive and will have to find an extra £11.51 a week to keep a roof over their heads. Many people will now be forced to cut back on essentials like food and electric to make ends meet.
The National Housing Federation is already warning that more than 750,000 people in the south-east are at risk of losing their homes because of the benefit cuts.
The Tories are ploughing full steam ahead with their cuts in the name of ‘national interest’: dismantling the welfare state, cutting benefits, drawing up plans to attack unions, ending the right to a council house for life, proposing privatisation on a massive scale … the list is endless.
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“We’re all in it together,” apparently. My arse! David Cameron and Nick Clegg aren’t in the same boat as us, who are they trying to kid?! The rich landowning toffs around this county aren’t going to suffer. Hereford’s MP and ex-banker Jesse Norman has reportedly just bought a very nice house down in leafy Broomy Hill, we wonder how many spare bedrooms he’s got. Is he underoccupying?
We still haven’t forgotten what got us into this mess in the first place: the bankers. They’ve got away with a slap on the wrists and are carrying on just as before. Us working class people, on the other hand, are now the ones who’ve got to take the hit. It’s our jobs and services that are on the line; our families and communities that will suffer. The bankers? How are their families and jobs going to be affected? Are they going to be the ones who will have bailiffs on their doorsteps banging down the door to evict them? Pull the other one!
One economic commentator has described Goldman Sachs, the world’s number one investment bank, as “a great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity, relentlessly jamming its blood funnel into anything that smells like money”. How very true!
We now face a full-on class-based attack on our way of life and to stop it will be a massive up hill struggle, but doing nothing is simply not an option.
There is a lot of anger surrounding these cuts, let’s see it on the streets with protests, pickets, riots and more.
Our message is clear: we have the strength to bring down this government and we will!