The leader of the Liberal Democrats, Tim Farron, has announced that his party will withdraw support for the bedroom tax because it has caused “huge social problems”.
Well, it’s about time the LibDems found some guts and started to oppose the disgraceful welfare reforms introduced by the coalition government – which also includes them.
Farron’s weak and meagre statement comes far too late for those whose lives have been turned upside down, and in some cases totally destroyed, by the government’s callous policies.
But of course, we are coming up to a general election, so perhaps this is the motivation for standing up for what the public feel is right – even though they have had four years in which to do so.
If Farron and his party had any balls at all, they would be firmly against all of the welfare reforms pushed onto people during the last four years, and instead of dancing to the Conservative Party’s tune may have made a real difference to people’s lives had they stood up for what is and was right.
It really doesn’t take much working out that welfare reforms are inequitable across the whole of spectrum of society. If the reforms have not affected people directly, then those who pay tax are forced to fund the ever increasing welfare bill as a result of government incompetence. In real terms, the welfare reforms are costing the taxpayer much more both directly and indirectly, than the previous system.
The government had plenty of warning and expert opinions that clearly showed welfare reforms would cost the country more, but they ploughed on in their usual bullish way because it is what they wanted to do – not because it was going to benefit anyone except those mega-corporations who have won lucrative government contracts.
As part of the coalition, the Liberal Democrats were part of this process, and yet did nothing to stop it.
Farron’s statement comes after an all-party committee of MPs condemned the tax. Why did Farron have to wait until then? Because as has been demonstrated by the LibDems involvement with the coalition they are gutless and ineffectual.
Perhaps we will see the LibDems condemn more reforms as the general election comes closer – but it is now far too late. They should have done something to protect the poor and vulnerable from the Conservatives draconian social engineering polices when they had the chance.
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