Simon Duffy, for the Centre for Welfare Reform, has produced a short, hard-hitting report on the cumulative effect of cuts, focused particularly on England. The report is short, but it’s backed up by a detailed Excel file where Duffy lays out his sources in some detail.
I’m not sure I agree with every word – Duffy argues that a shrinking proportion of national income should be seen as a cut in itself. The stark facts are, however, that cuts are falling disproportionately on the poorest, more disproportionately still on people with disabilities, and most directly on people receiving social care from local authorities.
While this has been going on, the Prime Minister is having a go at the Archbishop of Westminster for saying that
The voices that I hear express anger and despair. Something is going seriously wrong when, in a country as affluent as ours, there are people left in that destitute situation and depend solely on the hand-outs of the charity of food banks.
David Cameron’s response is that “Archbishop Nichols’ claims that the basic safety net no longer exists are simply not true”, while a Conservative source is quoted as saying the Archbishop is “ill-informed”. But the Archbishop is right. People are being left destitute and without food. And if you cut off the benefits of one unemployed person in five, there isn’t a basic safety net.