Thursday, 19 June 2014

Letter 135: The uncomfortable truth; Tories believe in free speech, unless you're Oxfam or the Trussell Trust

"Dear Dave,

Did Conor Burns get your blessing to refer this poster to the Charities Commission on the grounds that it was too political? Do the Conservatives expect charities to stop drawing attention to poverty and the causes behind it, simply because it embarrasses your government? Seriously, what's politics coming to - next we'll be hearing that someone at the DWP could turn ugly and threaten to close down the Trussell Trust over campaigning on food poverty. Now that really would be bullying behaviour, wouldn't it?

Yours, etc"

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Letter 134: Transparently, it's time for Dave's tax returns to be published

"Dear Dave,
In the name of transparency, please won't you publish your Tax Returns, so I won't have to sign this e-petition: to encourage you to do so? Surely you've nothing to hide...
(After all, if we're all in it together, what's 50p between friends?)

With best wishes, etc"

Friday, 6 June 2014

Letter 133: Yes, the Coalition has increased growth, but in all the wrong areas.

"Dear Dave,
You probably don't want to hear this, but there seems to be real confusion over the speech you wrote for the Queen. Is it as you say, "the packed programme of a busy and radical government", or as the Leader of the Opposition claims, evidence "that you are presiding over a zombie parliament which has run out of ideas"? This morning I listened to Radio 4's Today programme, in the hope of some clarity. Pundits there described it as "Queen's Speech lite" suggesting that you're playing safe because there's so little that the Coalition Government can agree on having fallen out on so much already.
There is one thing both sides of the Coalition cling to, which is your claim that through commitment to austerity we can have growth. But in all honesty, growth could be problematic for you too. Back in April the Huffington Post highlighted a few awkward facts about your GDP growth figures. Employment is also troubling, as your boasts of job growth aren't what they seem. Though you insist that the best way out of poverty is work, since 2010 the number of people working zero hours contracts has increased to 1,000,000, three in four housing benefit claims are now made by people in work and the surge in self employment you so proudly announced recently masks the decrease in traditional employee jobs. It would seem that the growth you prize is to be found in the increase of working poor and children living in poverty. Maybe it's Ed who's right after all; those 11 Bills in your Queen's Speech don't begin to address the UK's problems at all.  

Yours, etc"

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Letter 132: Universal Credit woes swept under Election14 woes.

"Dear Dave, 
So your plans for the Coalition's final year in office were set out today in the Queen's Speech... Forgive me if I don't give it my full attention, something else is distracting me...
What's all this about bad news regarding Universal Credit that Iain Duncan Smith was accused of hiding whilst the local and European elections were taking place? There was a report published - described by The Independent as "damning " I believe, which showed that Mr Duncan Smith's project isn't going as well as he'd like us to think. Is it true that Downing Street released the Major Projects Authority report on the day of the local election results to minimise adverse publicity? Surely not, when you aspire to be the most transparent government. Ever. 
Has the MPA rated Universal Credit as "red" and does this signify that it is"unachievable within reasonable timescales and to a reasonable budget without urgent remedial action"? Lots of questions I know, but then UC will cost a fair whack to implement won't it? There was some suggestion that it would be £12,800,000,000 - over £10.000,000,000 more than the DWP said in 2010. Taxpayers have a right to know what's going on - after all, they're paying for his folly...

Yours with best wishes, etc"