I dished out a massive dose of reality to the Tories last night – in particular Deputy Leader Roger Hirst (resident of Hutton Mount) who recently said our residents who are facing hardship should be more resourceful.
The issue of the council’s hardship fund came up and the usual lines were touted out about these poor vulnerable people who we would “help to get back in to work” etc etc.
Well, from my own bitter experience it’s not that easy and I decided it was time to lay it on the line.
Labour’s Cllr Mike Le Surf also made a good point when he said that many of the Tories simply divide people into “Shirkers or Workers”.
I spoke, with some passion and knowledge, about how many hoops were in their hardship policy to jump through and then of a professional person, fully qualified and experienced who was struggling to find a job and trying to keep her home when she had a £1000pcm mortgage and council tax commitment and was taking home Job Seekers Allowance of £65pw. I asked Cllr Hirst how “resourceful” you needed to be to survive on that?
Then I told them that I was referring to myself.
Suffice to say, the chamber went pretty quiet until Cllr Hirst starting trotting out some lines about how it was all the previous Labour government’s fault.
Anyway, we voted against the whole plan.
I’m fully aware that some of the Tory councillors I know HAVE been through some hard times and I clarified that point last night however, there are plenty over on the administration side who really wouldn’t know what it was like to chose to feed your cats over yourself!