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Kwasi Kwarteng has only just been promoted to a junior ministerial role and he’s already drawing attention to himself. Appearing on BBC Sunday morning political show Marr, the MP for Spelthorne gave a frankly disgusting response when he was confronted with a story of a deaf child who’s unable to speak & walk and faces losing her home because of Universal Credit.
Kwarteng was confronted with a story about a young woman who had contracted vCJD, commonly known as mad cow disease. It was explained to him that she was unable to hear, speak or walk and that she has been forced to attend a Work Capability Assessment (WCA) for Universal Credit.
His response to this absolutely unacceptable situation? I’ll let you watch for yourself.
Presented with a child born deaf, unable to speak & walk, asked to attend a work capability assessment & faced with losing her home Tory MP Kwasi Kwarteng resorts to sound bites about the benefits of “good & strong economic management” & reducing the deficit! Absolutely shocking! pic.twitter.com/NzYrCyH0VJ
— Peter Stefanovic (@PeterStefanovi2) November 18, 2018
At first, he starts what sounds like a pitch for a promotion, by listing what he’s been up to for the past few years. (A secretary to the Chancellor Philip Hammond.) Presenter Andrew Marr at this point intervenes to attempt to bring him back onto point to which the MP goes; “it’s a sad story but,” before continuing on about how the economy is so good.
Now most government MP’s who appear will usually defend their party’s position but when they do they at least say that situations like this shouldn’t happen. Kwarteng not only fails to say this he looks genuinely pleased with his response.
Kwarteng has some extreme views on Welfare
The Tory MP is known to have some rather extreme views on how the UK welfare system should be run. In a book he authored he says that benefit payments should be given as a repayable loan.
“Young individuals who have not yet paid national insurance contributions for a certain period, five years say, could receive their unemployment benefit in the form of a repayable loan.
“An unemployed teenager would still receive the same amount of cash as now, for example, but they would be expected to repay the value once in work.
“Turning an entitlement into a loan would mean that people would still be supported while out of work, but would have an additional incentive to find work rather than allow the debt to build up.”
Another shocking idea in his book proposes scrapping maternity and paternity pay to ease the burden on business. Instead new parents would get a flat rate “baby bonus” paid directly by the government. Considering the government’s track record on paying benefit payments on time, this is an idea that I find alarming to say the least.
The junior Brexit Minister responded the way that he did because Andrew Marr had raised the damning United Nations report on extreme poverty in the UK. He also pretended to not “know who this UN guy” was.
This despite Special Rapporteur on Extreme Poverty and Human Rights, Professor Philip Alston being invited to the UK by his own party. Plus it has been practically impossible to miss the media coverage before Alston’s arrival too.
For someone who was educated at Eton, Cambridge and Harvard, Mr Kwarteng isn’t very bright.
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