The Government has been accused of encouraging communities to ‘turn against each other’ by Sheffield MP David Blunkett.
In a speech in Parliament, the Brightside and Hillsborough Labour MP highlighted the impact of public spending cuts.
He said: “History teaches us that when politicians – particularly those of governing parties – are prepared to stoop to the politics of blame and resentment, and when the fulcrum of politics shifts to looking to our communities, rather than to the international financial and banking fraternity, to see who can be blamed for our problems, that is when we see people turning on each other. That is what we are seeing now.
“People are looking at those on welfare as though they are living high on the hog, and looking at migrants as though they are responsible for what has happened to their living standards, even though they are not.”
He added: “Above all, the Government are punishing people who are already struggling. The bedroom tax is the most iniquitous of the changes that the Government have brought in.
“I am talking about children under 10 who suddenly discover their parents have to move and they can no longer have their own bedroom, and about those with shared care not being able to look after their children at weekends.
“There were alternatives, including introducing incentives for people, including older people, to move.”
Mr Blunkett also branded the current debate on whether to hold a referendum on leaving the European Union ‘ridiculous’.
He said: “There is a danger that the current ridiculous debate on Europe could put our prosperity at risk.
“If the debate on Europe continues as it is doing at the moment, the ratio of the pound to other currencies internationally will worsen to the point our imports will be more expensive and our cost of living will rise.
“The uncertainty will reduce inward investment into our country.”