WHAT would you spend £1,300 on? A holiday? A month’s mortgage? A sneaky weekend in London with a bit of retail therapy thrown in?

Or is that the sum of money that represents just about keeping your head above water for the year? The difference between being able to feed, clothe and keep the kids warm, or sinking beneath the waves of an endless ocean of work, exhaustion and increasing debt?

For three million of our fellow citizens it is - £1,300 is the ‘rough estimate’ of what the cuts will cost each family who receives this benefit. This sum is also, you might be interested to hear, 100 times smaller than the salary handed to Chancellor George Osborne whose baby this tax cut is.

Working. Tax. Credits. The clue’s in the name. They are a handout that you can only get if you get off your backside and WORK. But George isn’t cutting welfare to the bone for the idle and the shiftless. He’s not cutting welfare to those who are playing the system for all its worth. He’s picked on the very people to whom his henchmouse, Iain Duncan Smith, promised that ‘work always pays more’.

Well it doesn’t. Because even my 20-year-old son couldn’t live independently on the money he gets for a 38 hour week and he’s earning ABOVE the national minimum wage. So how do any of these government idiots expect families to cope?

The Tory raid on society’s strivers is expected to net them 4.4 billion in savings. Which sounds a lot. But it’s actually £1 billion LESS than it will cost to repair the Houses of Parliament. And just the £41 billion less than it cost to prop up just ONE of the failed banks, whose criminal ineptitude put us in this mess in the first place.

We weren’t bankrupted by people who worked morning, noon and night to make a better life but, rather, by the idle, greedy, feckless monsters running our financial system.

Like a lot of people I wasn’t that unhappy to see certain benefits and allowances trimmed in the early years of the coalition because many of them had got completely out of hand. Most people knew someone who was playing the system like a Stradivarius. And I don’t particularly believe that working tax credits are a great idea – why should the state subsidise companies who won’t pay proper wages?

But the correct response to that would be to introduce concrete wage legislation, to do something about the factors which trap people in low-paying jobs; like the iniquitous zero-hours contract and constant flow of cheap, unregulated Euro-labour and wealthy foreigners skewing the housing market.

Instead we have our son-of-a-millionaire Prime Minister chortling that he’s ‘delighted’ as the dreams and hopes of three million people are crushed. And, as far as I can see, many of the MPs who could have done something about it didn’t even show up to the debate. Unlike the poor folk on tax credits, they’ll get paid no matter what.

Pomp and pageantry for China's cash 

I DO HOPE that sometime during his State visit to the UK, someone was kind enough to tell Mr Xi Jinping of China that his trip was not ‘opening up a golden era’ of happiness between our two nations and the only reason we did any of it was to get our hands on his country’s money.

I hope someone told him that most of us know the vast majority of the crowds lining the Mall had only come to see the Queen and wouldn’t have cared if she was riding next to a blue baboon.

I hope they told him that large numbers of Brits hold his regime in utter contempt over a number of issues, ranging from their indiscriminate use of the death penalty, their liberal and reckless use of animal parts from endangered species for their hocus-pocus medicinal system and their illegal and appalling occupation of Tibet which, whatever they claim, is eternally regarded as a country in its own right by everyone apart from them.

Because I wouldn’t want him to mistake all the pomp and pageantry as some kind of indication that we actually give a damn.

PS China’s gift to us was a collection of Mrs Xi’s ‘folk songs’. Her Maj received these with great aplomb as well she might – they’ll make fab background music for the day when Jeremy Corbyn finally schleps himself to Buck House to kiss the royal hand.

Dawn's big problem 

ACCORDING to Dawn French who has gottanotherbookout: ‘There are no thin people in erotica’.

I wouldn’t know, I don’t read the stuff. But what I do know is that this is Dawn’s umpteenth dig at women who are not as large as she is. I don’t have a problem with her weight, what she looks like is up to her. But, going on what she says, I think she may have a problem with the size of everyone else. Why else would she blather on about it?

Star Wars? please make it stop!

A LONG time ago, in what seems like a galaxy far away, they made a film called Star Wars. And it was great. In two months time they are releasing Star Wars Episode 47 or something, in which a load of creaking luvvies, plus a bloke in a furry costume, troll about the universe, generally trying to recreate just one spark of the greatness that featured in the first of this once-epic movie series. Please someone – anyone - make it stop.

Bond Girl's advice 

ATTRACTING all the Spectre attention for being the world’s oldest Bond Girl, Monica Bellucci, 51, reckons her sensational looks are down to “Eat well, drink well, have good sex and laugh a lot.’ Hmm. Nothing’s that funny...

Please note: This piece by Faith is an opinion piece and not a news report. You can contact Faith by tweeting @HerFaithness