Bumbling Burnham Crashes and Burns on Benefits and Petrol

Lots of gold from the GMB Labour leadership hustings today.

Firstly, Andy Burnham was booed as he floundered around refusing to back the benefit cap.

The crowd wanted a no, but he knew the country would give a resounding yes.

And the banter did not stop there. He later got the price of litre of petrol wrong, declaring it was 160p:

It’s 116p.

Delicious…

 

Labour: “The Party That Help People on Benefits”

Meet Alyessa. Vox-popped in Birmingham by the BBC this morning, she revealed why she’s voting Labour:

“Because Labour are the party that help people on benefits.”

Despite some vague tough talk from Rachel Reeves, Labour opposed every single one of IDS’s reforms and their client supporters are grateful. It’s the dirty little secret that the Labour Party refuse to accept: Benefit reform is hugely popular.

Polling by Ipsos Mori found that:

  • 84% either agree or tend to agree with stricter work-capability tests.
  • 78% agree with the idea that benefits should be docked if people turn down work
  • 62% support benefits being capped “if people choose to have more children”.
  • 57% back capping housing benefits
  • There is also more support than opposition for the Spare Room Subsidy reform.

Being the ‘party that help people on benefits’ may soothe your base, but the public don’t like it…

Labour Supporters Despair at “Nasty” Rachel Reeves

Following her comments denigrating the unemployed, Labour’s grassroots have turned on Rachel Reeves:

Disgruntled Labour members can join the Green Party here

Shameless Reeves: Labour Does Not Represent Jobseekers

What will Labour’s grassroots make of Rachel Reeves distancing her party from people receiving unemployment benefits? The Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary is talking tough in the Guardian today, in very un-Guardian-y language:

“We are not the party of people on benefits. We don’t want to be seen, and we’re not, the party to represent those who are out of work. Labour are a party of working people, formed for and by working people.”

Are Labour trying to get more of their supporters to follow in Jack Monroe’s footsteps? Slagging off their core vote is a bold move…

White Dee: I’m Voting Labour

Phoning in to LBC, Benefits Street star White Dee tells Iain Dale she is voting Labour on 7 May:

The celebrity endorsement Ed wanted…

Red UKIP Call For Higher Unemployment Benefits

The Reds are winning the power struggle at the top of UKIP if today’s reports that the party is set to unveil a raft of new left-wing policies are correct. Interestingly UKIP’s policy chief Tim Aker, who Guido always remembered as a sound as a pound right-winger, today condemns the bedroom ‘tax’ and calls for higher unemployment benefits. He tells May 2015:

“we’re firmly against the bedroom tax, but we do think you need a cap on benefits. We also support a higher Jobseeker’s Allowance, so we have a mix of left and right debates”

A UKIP source clarifies the party only proposes higher JSA “for people who have consistently paid in”, arguing “the money belongs to the people, and is therefore being returned to them rather than being kept by the state”. But where else can you find the exact same policy? Labour have pledged to pay more dole if you have worked for five or more years…

Now ECJ Says Britain CAN Ban Benefit Tourists

The European Court of Justice has this morning ruled that an unemployed Romanian woman living in Germany had no automatic legal right to access unemployment benefits. The Court found that member states “must have the possibility of refusing to grant social benefits to economically inactive Union citizens who exercise their right to freedom of movement solely in order to obtain another Member State’s social assistance.” The case related to a Romanian woman, Ms Dano and her son Florian, who took a job centre in Leipzig to court for refusing them benefits. After a messy trip to Europe last week and Eurosceptic Tory backbenchers up in arms after yesterday’s mess,  this ECJ ruling is a massive boost to No. 10.

This can be implemented before the election – no more benefit tourists.

Labour wouldn’t dare oppose it, right?

UPDATE:

Reeves Denies Benefits Reversal Boast to Commons
Tape Suggests Otherwise…

Regular readers will remember that Rachel Reeves told a meeting of ‘Christians on the Left’  that:

‘It will be much better if we can say that all of the changes that the Government have introduced we can reverse and all benefits can be universal.’

After Guido reported the comment back in March, Reeves went out of her way not to deny the quote when it was raised in the Commons by Mark Harper. Yesterday, during an exchange with IDS, she changed tact and flatly denied ever saying it:

IDS: A little while ago, in March, she is recorded as having said that, left to her, “all the changes that the Government has introduced” in welfare reform would be reversed “and all benefits” could be and should be “universal”. She has been asked this question before. It was a quote. I will give way to her if she wants to deny it.

Rachel Reeves indicated dissent.

IDS: There we have it—we now know what the policy is.

RR: The right hon. Gentleman did not read out a quote and I deny what he said.

IDS: I have to say to the hon. Lady that it is reported that she said that “all changes that the Government has introduced” in welfare could be reversed and “all benefits can be universal”. That is what she is quoted as saying. I will send her the quote if she likes. This is important.

RR: As I said, what the right hon. Gentleman read out is not a quote of what I said and I deny that that is my view.

Well guess what? There’s a tape, Rachel. Watch the video above to hear Rachel say the exact quote. She told the house she did not say it would be better if all benefits were universal, when she clearly did. Labour should realise there is always a tape these days.

Wham Cam Thank You Nan

Congratulations to Gita Lima, the Cameron children’s nanny, who Guido revealed in yesterday’s Sun is expecting a baby in early summer.

Usually Gita keeps in the background, hitting the front pages only when bungling immigration minister James Brokenshire claimed the […]

+ READ MORE +

WATCH: Rachel Reeves Refuses to Deny Her Welfare Wishlist

Rachel Reeves just repeatedly refused to deny she told a gathering of socialists that “it will be much better if we can say that all of the changes that the Government have introduced we can reverse and all benefits […]

+ READ MORE +

Rachel Reeves’ £230 Billon Slip of the Tongue

Last week Rachel Reeves let her guard down at a meeting of Christians on the Left, formerly known as the Christian Socialist Movement:

‘It will be much better if we can say that all of the changes that the Government

[…]

+ READ MORE +



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Quote of the Day

Charles Clarke says Cameron is the most successful PM for over a century…

“Under Margaret Thatcher the Conservatives gained 99 seats. They lost 211 under John Major, gained one under William Hague, quickly and wisely got rid of Ian Duncan-Smith, gained 32 under Michael Howard and have so far gained 133 under David Cameron who, to the great surprise of many (including senior Conservatives), has turned out to be the most electorally successful Tory leader since 1900.”

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