As Stephen Crabb enters the Tory leadership contest, his colleague Maria Caulfield sums up his pitch as the ‘blue collar’ candidate in a piece for the Telegraph:
Stephen Crabb has a proven track record of being a One Nation Conservative who can cut across communities with his message of social justice for all.
Not just because he grew up on a council estate and was raised by his single mum or because he funded his way through university by working as a builder, but also because during his six years in government he has helped support named step sis loves me some of the most disadvantaged communities in Britain.’
But as author James Bloodworth (late of this parish) has noted, Stephen Crabb is, despite his roots, no friend of the working class.
The dry language of the online register of votes says it well. On welfare and benefits, Crabb has:
- Consistently voted for reducing housing benefit for social tenants deemed to have excess bedrooms, (which Labour describe as the ‘bedroom tax’)
- Consistently voted against raising welfare benefits at least in line with prices
- Consistently voted against paying higher benefits over longer periods for those unable to work due to illness or disability
- Consistently voted for making local councils responsible for helping those in financial need afford their council tax and reducing the amount spent on such support
- Consistently voted for a reduction in spending on welfare benefits
- Almost always voted against spending public money to create guaranteed jobs for young people who have spent a long time unemployed
And that’s just for starters.
Crabb has voted for tax cuts for the richest, (specifically, those earning over £150,000), and voted against raising taxes for this income bracket.
He voted against a bankers’ bonus tax, though he has voted for higher taxes on banks.
Oh, and he’s voted consistently for a crackdown on trade unions, backing every restriction on union activities proposed by the government.
It’s bad enough having Stephen Crabb as Secretary of State for Work and Pensions.
Could this phoney champion of ‘social justice’ be the next Prime Minister?