Questions on Economic and Welfare Policy

Questions on Economic and Welfare Policy

Economic Policy

The Government

    • The Government is making families with children pay more than double what the banks are to pay down the deficit. That is simply not fair.
    • The Government’s economic strategy is a gamble with growth and jobs. The Government itself has admitted that 490,000 jobs are estimated to go in the public sector while PricewaterhouseCoopers has forecast 500,000 job losses in the private sector.
    • The Government has no plan for growth. Its decision to scrap Regional Development Agencies and replace them with Local Enterprise Partnerships excludes large areas of the country and has been described as “chaotic” by the Business Secretary himself.

Questions for discussion

    • What should our key message on the economy be?
    • Which aspects of Labour’s record do you think we should particularly focus on?
    • Where do you feel our economic message has been strongest and weakest in opposition?
    • Which areas of government spending should we aim to protect and where do you think we can be more specific on how we would save money?
    • Are there particular areas of growth we should be focusing on?
    • How can we ensure we are not portrayed as the ‘anti-business’ party?

Welfare Reform

 

The Government

    • The Budget means that 20,000 more people will face effective marginal tax rates of over 90% from next year. Cutting Working Tax Credit will further damage work incentives.
    • Are forcing each local authority in England to design their own system for distributing Council Tax Benefit system which will increase complexity
    • Are cutting Housing Benefit by 10% for people out of work for 12 months even if they have done everything possible to find a job
    • Are set to spend an additional £700m over the coming Parliament on extra Jobseeker’s Allowance payments because of higher unemployment under George Osborne’s economic plans

Questions for discussion

    • How should welfare play its part in reducing the deficit?
    • What measures should be taken to encourage people to move into work?
    • How can the benefit system be made simpler and more transparent?
    • How should the welfare system be reformed to reflect our ageing society?
    • What more should be done to reduce fraud and error in the benefit system?
    • How can we sustain progress in reducing child poverty at a time when the government’s resources are more limited?
    • How can the voluntary sector be better involved in giving people help in finding and staying in a job?

How should Housing Benefit be reformed to avoid the damaging consequences of the Government’s plans?

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