Monday, 23 February 2015

The moral of Chingford & Woodford Green ...


Andrew Fisher

Last year we reported that the constituency of Work & Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith was the "low pay capital of the capital - with 43.4% of jobs paying less than the London living wage" (then £8.80 per hour).

As in 2013, in 2014 the economy grew in every quarter - the Tories have boasted that we are on the "road to recovery" and their much mentioned but ill-defined "long term economic plan" is working.


Today the TUC has updated its analysis and reveals that now 48.3% of jobs in Chingford & Woodford Green are paid less than the living wage (now £9.15 per hour).

This means that Iain Duncan Smith's constituents working in the area are very likely to rely on tax credits and housing benefit to make ends meet.

If Duncan Smith is re-elected along with a Conservative government then under his Universal Credit (eventual roll-out likely between 2018-2067) almost half his working constituents may be facing "in-work conditionality", i.e. the threat of sanctions if they don't make effort to increase their working hours, or their pay, to reduce their dependency on government subsidies (for low pay and high rents).

And this exposes the fundamental rationale of this government: they do nothing to tackle the problems of low pay or high housing costs, but punish low paid workers and overcharged tenants simply for being low paid or overcharged.

Aneurin Bevan was right: "no amount of cajolery, and no attempts at ethical or social seduction, can eradicate from my heart a deep burning hatred for the Tory Party ... So far as I am concerned they are lower than vermin"

People of Chingford & Woodford Green, use your power on 7 May.

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