LETTER: Moved to tears by conference speech

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From Mr John Jacobs

Sir: John Major's deeply personal and sincere account of how he knows all too well what it feels like when the money runs out on a Thursday moved me to tears, as did his promise that he would ensure that the Conservative Party always looked after the sick and vulnerable ("Major finds clear blue water", 14 October).

They were tears of rage that he could have the effrontery to say this in a year when he has presided over a government that, wisely and kindly:

1. has introduced the new Incapacity Benefit, the avowed aim of which is to cut benefits to the long-term sick and disabled;

2. is about to bring in the Jobseeker's Allowance, which will cut unemployment benefit from 12 months to six months and remove the benefit altogether from thousands of claimants; and

3. has abolished mortgage interest relief for the first nine months of unemployment or sickness for all new recipients of income support.

And that's just this year!

No doubt all those driven deeper into poverty by these measures will take great comfort from the fact that their capital gains and inheritances will not be taxed as much in future.

Yours sincerely,

John Jacobs

Senior Lecturer in

Social Policy

School of Cultural and

Community Studies

University of Sussex

Falmer, Brighton

14 October

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