What a nasty Budget Osborne hit us with. There are far more losers than winners. He tries conning us that a minimum wage is a good wage to live on. He scrapped maintenance allowances for the poorest students and massively cut further education; and made his mates’ Porsches cost the same to tax as an electric car.
I predicted cuts to tax credits. How I wish I’d been wrong. Reductions to Universal Credit and tax credits will hit around three million working families, making them worse off by an average of £1,000 per year.
How I wish the Prime Minister knew how to keep his pre-election promise that child tax credit was “not going to fall.”
He deliberately misled us. Parents working hard to support their children have been betrayed. Ever more working parents will depend on food banks to feed their children.
Dreadful though it was, the Budget wasn’t the only bad news. Knife crime is up. London alone is enduring an appalling 23 per cent more knife crime than last year.
Increases in crime are always bad, but this is particularly worrying. A lot of work goes into reducing the scourge of knife crime which, until recently, had been on a downward trend.
Much good work goes on in Newham to get knives off our streets. Street Life is one such initiative, organised by the excellent Community Links charity. It provides activities run by and for young people, designed to prevent weapons-related crime in Newham.
Our police also work with young people to prevent them carrying knives and becoming criminalised. Tougher measures came into force last week, with mandatory prison terms for people twice caught illegally carrying a knife.
I applaud the effective, pro-active stance of our police and of Community Links. We don’t want to catch knife carriers – we want to stop people from carrying knives.
Prevention is always better than Cure.