We have all seen the report on the BBC about child poverty in Oldham which concentrated on tugging at the heart strings and chose to completely avoid an assessment of Oldham’s socioeconomic landscape or the scale of social security reliance. Here are just some of the half a billion working age benefits paid out in poverty stricken Oldham each and every year: Tax Credits £173 million, Housing Benefit £79 million, ESA £68 million, Child Benefit £56.1 million, PIP £23.3 million, Disability living allowance £22.5 million, Income Support £10.4 million, Job Seekers Allowance £8.4 million. All figures taken from official spending releases available from www.gov.uk There are lots of injustices in the benefit system and we feel these cases get lost in the sheer scale of social security reliance in places like Oldham. The system and politicians are failing the needy not only by withholding help but by allowing wholesale abuse of the system and failing to create robust economies with higher paid employment. Labour Oldham’s regeneration plans have delivered retail and hospitality jobs which are the lowest paid industries in the UK. The new masterplan will deliver more of the same over the next two decades plus the addition of more warehouse & logistics jobs which have the lowest GVA of any UK industry.