Archive for January 27, 2012

That was the local government week that was

January 27, 2012

A week gone, two weeks work done

As we near the end of January it is fair to say that life for the WLLG team continues to be mighty busy. We’ve all had manic weeks at work and with cuts to make and services to keep going, and even improve, and less staff to do it all things don’t look like they’re going to slow down any time soon.

The big news story this week was not Eric Pickles describing local authorities as immoral over council tax but the debate over the benefits cap. People I work with find the debate about the benefits cap deeply frustrating, feeling that there is little or nothing to be gained, for example, by turfing single mothers (who make up a large proportion of those in our social housing) out of their homes just to save some money on the benefits bill. These feelings were shared and brilliantly summarised on the not so big society blog. As the excellent Ermintrude2 points out:

Politics of envy is easy but it is ignoble. By encouraging the population to envy those who have less rather than those who have more (i.e. the class of politicians) they are diverting our attention from the real battles we should be fighting.

However, when I got home and had a chat with Mrs WLLG about all this she made the point that whilst I might understand the intricacies of the benefits system for the normal member of the public this seems ridiculous and we should be more willing to identify those examples which just aren’t right. The debate will continue – and not just in the WLLG household!