A hard hitting advertising campaign, launched today (Thursday 28 February) by Britain’s largest union, Unite, exposes the government’s hypocrisy over welfare cuts; posing the question: ‘Who are the biggest welfare cheats?’.
The campaign targeting David Cameron, George Osborne and Iain Duncan Smith as the biggest welfare ‘cheats', contrasts cuts to welfare and tax credits, which will leave an estimated 11.5 million households worse off from 1 April, with an average £100,000 tax give away to millionaires.
The unveiling of the campaign, by Unite members who will be hit by the cuts, comes as the government admitted in a letter placed in the House of Lords' library that 400,000 children will be pushed into poverty because of its one per cent benefit cap, coming into force after Monday (1 April).
The national digital, print and ad van campaign is set to reach millions of households only days before the cuts hit, with Unite urging people not to sit in silence but work with the union to expose the poverty caused to ordinary people whether in or out of work.
It coincides with the launch of a new website called ‘Our Welfare Works’ which sets the record straight on welfare, blowing apart the myths that have been used by the government to promote its savage attack on the welfare state.
Bringing together unions and charities, key opinion formers, celebrities, and community campaigners, ‘Our Welfare Works’ captures the voices of those hardest hit and signposts people to take local action with Unite community membership.
Early contributors to the site include the blogger ‘Mum vs Austerity', Michelle Kent who faces being made homeless because of the bedroom tax and comedian Mark Steel who satirises the government's efforts to blame the poor for the economic crisis.
Commenting, Len McCluskey Unite general secretary said: “The welfare changes coming in from 1 April are no joke for the millions of households who will be made poorer and the hundreds of thousands of kids who face being plunged into poverty.
“While the government unleashes misery and demonises those struggling to get by, millionaires will be laughing as they pocket tax breaks averaging £100,000 a year.
“We are saying ‘enough’. Unite will not let the truth be a casualty of this government's war on the poor. We will not allow the government to get away with conning the British public.
“Ordinary people, who face eviction because of the cruel bedroom tax or a trip to the food bank to feed themselves and their kids, know the truth.
“It is a truth, which we will expose, against the government lies and spin where the hopes of ordinary people trying to make ends meet are squashed to pay for an economic crisis not of their making.”
For more information please contact James Bevan on 07711 347645 or Alex Flynn on 020 3371 2066 or 07967 665 869.
Notes to editors:
Unite's community membership scheme brings those not in employment into the union family, adding another dimension to our strength in thousands of workplaces across the UK.
- Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with 1.5 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.