Norman Lamb MP (Lib Dem), the Minister of State for Care and Support in the Coalition Government, has been in Hinckley and Bosworth this week.
He was at the Atkins Centre in Hinckley, on Tuesday (April 2nd) to help launch the Leicestershire Liberal Democrats’ manifesto for the upcoming County Council elections.
Whilst here Mr Lamb praised the local Lib Dem run Borough Council and spoke about the positive changes Lib Dem Ministers were making in Government, especially highlighting his own field of health.
He also took part in a question and answer session with local Councillors and, as part of that, I asked him the following question:
“We’ve lifted the Income Tax threshold to £10,000 earlier than expected, (giving many people on average to low earnings a £700 tax cut, which is fantastic), but many people are concerned about the benefit changes being made; as we prepare to go out on to the doorsteps what (information) can you give us to tell people who are already feeling squeezed (financially)?”
In response Mr Lamb pointed out the very difficult financial circumstances the Coalition Government inherited from Labour upon taking office back in 2010 and that, therefore, tough decisions had to be made and that, though the changes will cause difficulty, for some individuals, local authorities (including here in Hinckley and Bosworth) were being given extra money to help people facing particular hardship as a result of the so-called ‘Bedroom Tax.’
This comes after I also raised the issue with Steve Webb MP, the Minister of State for Pensions in the Coalition Government, at the Liberal Democrat’s national Spring Conference at Brighton in March, when I asked him about the (I’d argue) shameful rhetoric used by certain Conservative and Labour politicians in regards to people on Welfare and to confirm that Lib Dem Ministers would never use such disgraceful language about people who find themselves in need of help from the State.
He gave me that very welcome assurance.