Public-service union Unison's examination of the impact of the government decision to stop council tax benefits lays bare the falsity of the conservative coalition's pledge to look after low-paid workers.
It is precisely they who will bear the brunt of the effects of replacing nationally administered council tax benefit with a local council tax support scheme.
Out will go national entitlements in favour of variable schemes delivered according to individual local authorities' preferences.
The government insists that pensioners must be safeguarded, but it is reducing the cash available to local councils by 10 per cent.
This means that low-income families of working age will endure the lion's share of hardships associated with the reduction in the block grant to councils.
Unison's consultation with a number of local authorities indicates that low-paid workers claiming council tax assistance will receive just 75-80 per cent of the sums to which they were previously entitled.
That alone could wipe out the advantages of increased personal allowances before workers pay income tax that are expected to take effect in April 2013.
But the situation is even worse for low-paid workers than that, especially in the public sector, with most experiencing either a pay freeze or below-inflation rises.
There is also the vexed question of housing which continues to hit low-paid workers hard.
The Tories have always been hostile to the idea of working-class people living in decent properties at an affordable rent and even more so if their accommodation is cheek by jowl with those regarded as their social betters.
While council tenants' right to buy their own homes has been around for half a century or more, it was only in the 1980s that Margaret Thatcher's government embarked on a crusade to encourage tenants to buy their own homes and remove them from public control to the private market.
Many tenants, especially in houses rather than flats, were persuaded to take the plunge, especially in high-price areas, and to benefit from a cash jackpot by selling highly appreciating properties.
All three major parties have since competed with each other to spout the "choice" agenda as justification to move beyond individual tenants buying their own homes to mass disposal of council housing stock to the private sector.
The net result has been a steadily declining reservoir of public housing stock with ever-lengthening queues and the realisation among low-paid workers that a council house could always be out of their reach, forcing them to look elsewhere.
Faced with a choice of renting in the private sector or buying their own home, low-paid workers can see clearly the effects of three decades of government housing policy based on market forces.
Most low-paid workers have no chance whatsoever without family assistance of getting onto the bottommost rung of the housing ladder because of finance-sector demands of a 30 per cent deposit.
At the same time, private rents are rising much higher than the rate of inflation while government is intent on reducing the level of housing benefit, effectively driving poor families out of better-off areas.
The coalition government's pledge to take care of low-income families is as dishonest as Nick Clegg's suggestion of a temporary tax on the wealthy.
The government looks after its own - big business and the wealthy - and couldn't give a damn for the low-paid.
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