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Tories blast Labour over benefit reforms

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: March 05, 2013

28/02/13 Pic of RTC aftermath - Beaufort Rd, Brizlincote Valley
Cllr Bernard Peters and damage to barrier on Beaufort Road, Brizlincote Valley..

28/02/13 Pic of RTC aftermath - Beaufort Rd, Brizlincote Valley Cllr Bernard Peters and damage to barrier on Beaufort Road, Brizlincote Valley..

Comments (12)

BURTON’S Tory MP has hit back at a Labour attack on his party’s benefit reforms by claiming each family in the town pays £900 towards housing benefit.

Andrew Griffiths said the changes were essential as the benefit’s bill had doubled in 10 years and was forecast to hit £25 billion by 2014-15.

“We can’t just expect hard-working families in Burton to go on footing the bill while we sit back and do nothing,” he said.

The MP spoke after Labour claimed the coalition’s reforms would ‘devastate’ the poorest families in Burton.

Mr Griffiths said the Government was acting to ensure tenants contributed towards their rent if they lived in housing which was bigger than they needed – bringing social housing into line with the private sector.

Councils had been given £155 million for discretionary housing payments for disabled people and £5 million for foster carers, he said.

Conor Wileman, who is contesting the Tower division for the Tories in the forthcoming Staffordshire County Council elections, said more money was spent on housing benefit than the police or the Army and navy combined.

“One third of social housing tenants of working age are living in accommodation too big for their needs while 250,000 families live in overcrowded accommodation,” he said.

“Taxpayers, including social housing tenants, are effectively having to pay for around a million unused bedrooms.

“Asking those with extra space to choose either a reduction in housing benefit or to move to smaller properties is not only necessary, but fair.”

Bernard Peters (pictured), a Conservative cabinet member of East Staffordshire Borough Council, said the authority was implementing coalition policies with ‘care and compassion’.

Rounding on Labour, particularly Winshill ward member Dennis Fletcher, he said: “He is just scaremongering again and playing politics with people’s lives.”

Councllor Peters said Labour had nothing constructive to say.

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12 comments

  • Terry  |  March 13 2013, 2:46PM

    That is a bit rich coming from the Tories who are hitting the poorest, sick and disabled in our society. They really have earned the name of The "nasty party" now. These people being hit had to go on a waiting list to get a property too, and if the idiots in parliament did not let so many people into the country, and/or built more housing, we would not have a housing crisis. Politicians can be blamed quite rightly, for the mess this country is in, they have not got a clue.

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  • Roger10  |  March 06 2013, 3:10PM

    Until recently I used to have a keen interest in politics. I don't know what it is but over the last year or so I have become more disillusioned with it as the months pass. The Liebour leader Milliband seems incapable of making any sense what so ever and appears to be content with making silly immature jibes at anyone and anything. Cameron has turned into a modern day Mary Antoinette with the way he treats the working people of this country. All thats missing from him is the "let them eat cake" remark. As for Clegg, what a disappointment he is! I do not trust any of them to speak the truth or act in an honourable manner, they all twist the facts. A curse on all of em I say! I wish it was possible to opt out but one thing is for sure I will not be voting again.

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  • thevoiceofreason2013  |  March 06 2013, 8:02AM

    at a time when the councils budget is being cut by 50% from the government is it wise to cut council tax by 1%, thereby giving the council even less money for services?

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  • VotingRed  |  March 05 2013, 11:18PM

    In response to councillor Peters. Labour has plenty to say about it but neither you nor the national (and local) media will listen or repeat it. Housing benefit goes to landlords who charge high rents. It's a benefit to line the pockets of the already wealthy people. Labour want to invest in the construction industry and provide desperately needed houses but this government insists on pouring money into bank coffers through QE. Building would re-employ the people who suffered from the banker's gambling. This would put many scores of thousands back into work and reduce benefit payments they receive. They'd pay tax and NI and have money to spend in the local economy. The supply industries would benefit and probably need more staff taking even more off the unemployment figures. Instead of moaning about what people get for doing nothing try giving them hope through proper jobs rather than temporary part time workfare. Please tell me what's not to like about that. Or will you revert to type and turn a deaf un again like most Tories. Invest to progress, just as major companies have done for decades.

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  • choccy  |  March 05 2013, 12:42PM

    Whoops, sorry for the repeats.

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  • choccy  |  March 05 2013, 12:39PM

    Cruella, are you sick of paying for millionaires politicians expenses, mansions and second homes, too? I've never heard of a poor higher rate tax payer, either, have you? You will still have to work hard anyway, so stop believing all the rubbish this government is feeding you

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  • choccy  |  March 05 2013, 12:39PM

    Cruella, are you sick of paying for millionaires politicians expenses, mansions and second homes, too? I've never heard of a poor higher rate tax payer, either, have you? You will still have to work hard anyway, so stop believing all the rubbish this government is feeding you

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  • choccy  |  March 05 2013, 12:39PM

    Cruella, are you sick of paying for millionaires politicians expenses, mansions and second homes, too? I've never heard of a poor higher rate tax payer, either, have you? You will still have to work hard anyway, so stop believing all the rubbish this government is feeding you

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  • choccy  |  March 05 2013, 12:39PM

    Cruella, are you sick of paying for millionaires politicians expenses, mansions and second homes, too? I've never heard of a poor higher rate tax payer, either, have you? You will still have to work hard anyway, so stop believing all the rubbish this government is feeding you

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  • burtontrash  |  March 05 2013, 12:28PM

    Ho hum..

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