Thursday, 18 December 2014

Can a huge e-protest stop a cut to far to Council funding by the Coalition Government?

In a new round of spending cuts by the Coalition Government, it's been revealed that Chancellor George Osborne is trying to cut crucial funding designed to help people in crisis as part of his anticipated cuts of around £3 billion to the work of local councils.

The national Guardian has reported that ministers announced in January that £180m central funding for council-run local welfare assistance schemes in England would stop from April 2015 - funds vital to help people hit by flooding, fire, or domestic violence. But the decision to cut funding has come under fire in recent months from a number of Conservative council leaders and MPs, as well as local Labour politicians and poverty charities, who argued that removing the local welfare safety net would drive people to food banks and loan sharks.

Communities secretary Eric Pickles, is among the senior ministers understood to want to save the fund with £70m of extra money, which could be ringfenced and is reported to have the support of, among others, the Liberal Democrat chief secretary to the Treasury, Danny Alexander. But the demand is said to have been met with resistance the chancellor.

Without this vital safety net, stricken families would be left penniless and without food and the cuts could announce the cut later today – so let’s help try to stop him. With other ministers are feeling the pressure over “the unpopularity of welfare cuts and the rising use of food banks”. A huge public outcry, just as MPs are getting ready to go home for Christmas, could split the government further - and force Osborne to back down.

Whether it’s a violent partner, flood, or fire, anyone can suddenly find themselves up against it. Until now, the government has given councils funds to offer emergency help. If George Osborne manages to scrap this fund, people could be left with nowhere to turn.

As a proportion of government spending, the sums of money involved are pretty small. But this is about the kind of Britain we want to live in.

Can it really be right to scrap emergency support for people hit by crisis? Do we really want to leave people in hardship to suffer? To rely on food banks? Or even worse, loan sharks?

•  Please sign the emergency petition now: https://secure.38degrees.org.uk/osborne-christmas-cuts

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