Petition asking Labour to oppose benefit cuts sweeps the internet

Screen Shot 2015-07-22 at 08.23.03Lib Dems will be familiar with the many petitions launched by 38 degrees attacking us during the Coalition years in which the iniquities of the changes to benefits was a constant theme. Given that 38 degrees have frequently said that they do not support the Labour Party, it might have been expected that they would have something to say about Labour’s extraordinary decision to abstain in the vote on the Welfare Reform and Work Bill on Monday evening- but they have been silent. The nice balance – 184 Labour MPs abstaining with a Govt majority of the same number is just the sort of thing that might have been expected to get their attention!

They can’t be ignoring it can’t be because there is any doubt about the effects of the cuts, independent organisations like the Child Poverty Action Group and the Institute for Fiscal Studies have made clear the damage that will be done to the poorest families, particularly by the £6 bn cuts in tax credits.

Alternatively they only have to listen to Tim Farron’s speech to hear the argument against the benefit cuts made extremely well.

I thought that I would try to remedy the situation by using the facility on the 38 Degrees website for anyone to start a petition and perhaps it will be picked up and made one of the petitions they promote themselves.

Please sign the petition and share on Facebook and Twitter to ask other people to do so.

* Simon McGrath is Membership Officer of Merton Lib Dems, writing in a personal capacity

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  • Simon do you still consider the education maintenance allowance “pocket money bribes for potential Labour voters”? Just wondered.

  • Richard Underhill 22nd Jul '15 - 1:05pm

    38 Degrees appears to be a Labour Party front organisation, but i have signed this petition.

  • Bill le Breton 22nd Jul '15 - 1:24pm

    Great campaigning, Simon.

  • Simon McGrath 22nd Jul '15 - 5:04pm

    @Ruth – congratulations you can use google !
    Yup of course I do – a typical Gordon Brown ploy to give people money and make them dependent on the state.

    But as a member of the Committee of Liberal Left I would hope you would support the petition

  • Its not so much sweeping the internet as trickling through the cracks. The only email 38 degrees sent me today was about bees.

  • Well, it has 766 signatures! Mony a mickle maks a muckle!

    Bees are important as well… I signed that one too..

  • Simon McGrath 22nd Jul '15 - 9:14pm

    @Alistair “The only email 38 degrees sent me today was about bees.” . Its almost like they will never criticise the labour Party …

  • EMA was massively important to my granddaughter in her attempt to gain further education. She spent the money on bus fares to college and subsistence, not drink, drugs and fags as the Daily Mail would have us believe. People like David Laws do not have the faintest inkling of what it is like to have to live on benefits, and how £30 a week could be so important.

  • Richard Underhill 22nd Jul '15 - 10:21pm

    If the bees die we will all die.

  • nigel hunter 22nd Jul '15 - 10:39pm

    Tax Credits cut . Five years of being poorer with five years of inflation the new ‘ pay- rise’ will not mean a thing.

  • Hi Simon – no I consulted my flagging middle-aged memory first as I was part of that welfare discussion back in March. It is great to see all the sinners now repenting and I am delighted to support you. It would just have been nice to have had a few more allies during those lonely five years when things like the Health in Pregnancy Grant were axed and people of your ilk (and to be fair every single one of the female MPs we then had too) watched it happen without a whisper. It’s good to have won though.

  • david thorpe 26th Jul '15 - 2:29pm

    well done simon-this is the kind of original populist campiagning that the lib dems in hq should be doing…

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