I ask this question because I think a serious mistake has been made.
The bill as it stands punishes those in serious need, and also those who try and help them.
Many people will see their mobility allowance cut (meaning they now cannot afford to travel to work), their benefits reduced and charities (part of the so called big society) are finding their funding reduced and are having to make back office (in many cases fundraising staff) cuts in order to continue service provision. I feel they are making a mistake as it puts them on a declining cycle.
The preamble to the party’s constitution is “The Liberal Democrats exist to build and safeguard a fair, free and open society, in which we seek to balance the fundamental values of liberty, equality and community, and in which no one shall be enslaved by poverty, ignorance or conformity.” (my boldface) Yet we are by this process enslaving some of the most vulnerable in our society to poverty.
I doubt that anyone disagrees that the benefit system needs reform. However the reform should be about the system (IE the back office, the bureaucracy) to make the benefits cheaper to process. Instead, what we are seeing are the disabled, families on low incomes and those looking for work being penalised, whilst the extended means testing actually means that the bureaucracy has increased.
The Government are making a serious mistake.