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Why the coalition's welfare plans are damaging and dangerous
Some still don't understand. THERE'S NO MONEY LEFT. and you can't keep printing it, and nor can you borrow your way out of debt. New Labour squandered over one trillion, BEFORE!! the banking meltdown. Healthcare has being ring fenced, that's good, foreign aid also, that's bad. Let's stop squandering money and giving it away, let's get folks back into wealth creating industies, not government job creation schemes.
“To answer your point Stuart; this is how it works. If you failed to tell the DWP, whilst on benefit, about selling the Big Issues, then yes you would be committing an offence.”
That’s right Nick but in the big picture of things he should be congratulated on his entrepreneurial energy. Stuart has paid into the system for a decade. He is one of those getting a little back. I would like to see half of this crowd working on a construction site during the British winter in particular, and say he’s cheating. I know that’s not where you’re coming from. How many of us don’t cheat on our taxes when we can. Stuart get your butt out there and sell a set target of them. Then do something constructive with the money. Get that articulate mind of yours into production.
During the economic 'good years' (before Brown handed the banks that big fat blank cheque following the crash) I would have wholeheartedly agreed with that position.
However we are now living in a different economic reality.
The issue is no longer 'incentives to work'. The big problem is creating jobs for people to work.
Your London borough might be full of scroungers but lets look outside the capital for a moment, lets look at my town. Eastleigh is pretty dependent on service industries for most of its jobs, and these service industries are in turn dependent on several large-scale employers.
Since the downturn it has become nearly impossible for young people over the age of 18 to find work, because it is much cheaper to employ a 16 year old 6th form drop-out or school-leaver.
I have one friend in particular who used to work as a landscape gardener. He has actually taken on voluntary work in a soup-kitchen just to get himself out of the house and stop himself going crazy following a year on benefits. He needs none of your 'incentives to work', he just needs a paying job...
ok nick, good advice,could always wear a burkha,that will keep them away lol.
@stuart; thanks for accepting my apologises in turn I accept your profound sincere apologises and hope that your js are truly rolled to perfection and your casn of cider are no longer fake.
thing is nick, i never claimed to be well educated,but if mr undivine as he claims is a politics graduate then god help us if he evers get into positions of power or worse is ever elected as a mp,now thats a scary thought.
M your such a bigot,instead of pointing the finger at so called poor people abusing the welfare system why dont you fire both barrels at the rich who open of shore accounts to avoid paying tax,why dont you bitch about the middle class well off familys who claim child benefit and the winter fuel allowance,that whats i call abusing the welfare state M.
Stuart, you may not have a string of qualifications, but you've got a good take on common sense, as well as a very perceptive intuition into what makes others tick, they are far more useful qualities than the likes of whatever it is Mr 'Divine' is likely to ever possess. I doubt he's who he says he is; just another plastic Tory....who ought to sit next to a rather hot fire!
We should also not forget that one of the main villans in all this is: New Labour.
Child poverty is up, social mobility has never been worse and yet the political elite found billions for doomed banks, imperial wars, Trident missile systems, aircraft carriers so they can sit at the captain's table and walk upon the world stage (we are bigger than we really are, really!).
The bottom line is that of business parties pretending to be political parties pursuing the neoliberal agenda as highlighted in this excellent article.
Clegg's comments are nauseating and completely out of touch (I wait for 'I mis-spoke, mis-stated or was mis-quoted), I can see how and why he is Deputy Prime Minister in a Conservative led government, hand in glove.
That's the answer Stuart! The burqa, that would bugger up the DWP's prospects of getting a conviction!
I do think some of the rules on benefits should be relaxed, it's the rigid weekly reporting system which isn't compatible with doing legitimate hours because people know they would have all the hassle of signing off, then waiting weeks to get back on benefit after the work has stopped. It also disrupts all the Housing and Council Tax Benefit and thus makes a few hours of work not worth the hassle or only worth it if it's 'done on the side'.
It's a system which limits enterprise because people are always fearful of getting caught and looking over their shoulder, they can't promote what they do. It could be made a lot more flexible to help ease people back into work. There is a scheme run by the DWP for the self employed but little is said about it. I genuinely think (and I base this assumption upon interviewing a fair few thousand people over the years) that the vast majority prefer earning their own cash.
I wish our MP's would listen more to people on the ground about welfare reform because there are many people who could give a lot of constructive views on reform. I attend a fair few forums and we all come up with good ideas, but the policy makers have limited powers to act.
your right nick, see i bang on alot about my equal hate for the politacal left and the right for a good reason,both partys are full of these self superior nasty types aka john redwood and peter mandleson who just have utter contempt and treat the majority of us like peasants,but even worse than that is this lib dem party,what the hell do they stand for anymore,is nick clegg really a closet tory who has fooled his supporters for years,its just hard to get your head around these politicians like clegg who would sell there grand mother just to get a whiff of power.
Did you read any of IDS's Centre for Social Justice think tank's policy reports into welfare benefit from 09 and if so, what did you make of them?
Clearly he won't be implementing any of the think tank stuff under Osborne but I thought there was some interesting points raised in there.
You're dead right there Stuart, Clegg has sold out his party, he wasn't even brave enough to stay and hear the end of the conference. He's an out and outward coward. It's a real indicator of how politicians just talk about principles and yet all they want is the power of government. Clegg would indeed sell his grand mother to stay where he is. I just see people getting more and more angry, somethings got to blow sooner or later!
I tell you Stuart, in all the years I've been doing this job, I've never seen anything like this. You can almost see the fear in people's faces, whilst smug politicians lap it up with all this hype, it's sickening. I wish some of the idiots on here could see what I have to, I could give you 'real life' stories every day of how this lot are ruining lives, it's not just my client's, it's my friends, neighbours and family as well who are being affected. I know what you say over there being no difference in the left and right and on some of that you are right, but the left are more compassionate and would scale down the cuts. This deficit does not need paying back as quickly as they make out and Labour would stage repayment over a longer period, that would give us steady growth. This lot cannot last.
What gets me is the smug 'we are so sure we are right attitude' of this coalition in the face of mounting evidence that they are going about this completely the wrong way and are going to plunge this country into an economic nightmare that will make the 80s and the 30s pale into insignificance.
I don't believe Clegg's promise that by 2015 all the pain will be worth it. I notice that there wasn't a single mention in his speech of how they intend to bring growth to our economy, only statements on what they have done, are going to do and just what a mess Labour left.
I'm still fuming from the conflicting statements from him the other day, this is a coalition government and these are coalition policies and yet later in that same Q & A session he said, the reason we had Conservative policies was because the Conservatives won the election and if you want Lib Dem policies vote Lib Dem at the next election! Which is it then? I can't believe that none of the political commentators or papers picked up on that.
The volte face of the Liberal Democrats is unbelievable as are the cries of -the country wanted this, the country wanted a coalition government to sort out the economy. I'm sick of saying no we didn't want that, it was an end result not a desired outcome at the point of voting.
We can't let the Tories off the hook though. We tend to gun for the LDs because they've abandoned much of their principles, policies and manifesto for power and because they are giving legitimacy to these cuts. The Tories are not getting much stick at the moment, probably because we expect it of them but we must not give them an easy ride by targeting only LDs.
Locally to me, in anticipation of the cuts - all street cleaning is gone, social services staff already on a pay freeze will now have their pay frozen for another three years, no more funding to train new social workers to meet our child protection needs and demands, people who have equipment through social services on loan are now responsible for it's maintenance even though they don't own the equipment,home care is already curtailed for some people and stopped for others, bin collections cut, seven schools scrapped from the BSF and a further nine to be axed too, the local special needs school to be closed, I could go on forever and I'm sure you can all reel off countless examples of what's going on and this is before we get the big news on October 20th.
The constant it's Labour's fault is getting on my nerves now. Five months and they're still banging the same drum. Of course, we know that it isn't all down to labour. I think the idea is to say it often enough and we'll believe it.....and sadly, some people do.
We have to oppose this government at every opportunity and we have to come together as communities, work forces, unions and politicians to do so.
Hi again Nick, I think your political system is designed in some ways to keep the herd in place. Everything should be done to encourage small business and smart guys like Stuart. The heart of any financially viable country is small business.
@Lou. For someone who gets sick from exposure to 'light' it is amazing the amount of time you are able to spend looking at computer screens. Sorry for trolling ya, I thought for a moment yo waz The Sun. Ya just another disability fraudster aren't ya?
@stuart. I'm not bitter. I'm just doing what you do with other people. I'm copying your remarks that you've made to other people and presenting them back to you. How does it feel? For me it is quite pleasurable having a laugh at your expense. Is that how it feels when you do the same to other people?
@Nick .. you closed minded public sector worker. How can I be a Tory if I'm against the Royal Family and want to cut military expenditure? Don't you realise that it is possible to hold a variety of different political points of view .. you've got a binary mind set. Most taxation is theft, and you Nick are one of the people benefiting from this theft. Be more perceptive.. I take you've heard of Herbert Spencer?
And you think just because I'm a uni graduate (BA in Politics and MA in Linguistics) I should think university education is worthwhile? God you're so narrow minded. Most of it is intellectual masturbation. And people's labour shouldn't be taxed in order for other people to wallow in this morass of meaningless garbage.
And let me assure you Nick having lived and worked in the Third World nobody in the UK is poor, and nobody needs your assistance. You need more life experience.
Ah well there's these things called filters - thought you'd have known that seeing as you are so well eduated and informed.
Now be a good little boy, go play on the motorway.
I've read various extracts from it from time to time and think a lot of it makes a great deal of sense. There has been similar think tanks and impact assessments, often started well before the various welfare reforms. God, shoot me for saying it, but I agree with IDS on quite a lot of what he says, he was at least prepared to look carefully at the reasons why people end up becoming reliant on welfare. Importantly, a great deal on welfare reform has been agreed by intelligent cross party debate. Dianne Abbott has a good handle on it.
Thanks for the link; it helped me locate an extract which would cause Osborne to cough up his early morning coffee; it goes like this:
" More of the Same, Not an Option"
"Routinely, incoming Governments commit to reducing the cost of welfare at the start of their administrations, by creating new rules to govern access to existing
benefits, and by creating new benefits. All this is accompanied by claims that they will improve the system’s efficiency. Yet, too often their grand claims that
savings will be made turn out to be wildly optimistic"
You can see why IDS is bound to be uneased by Osborne's current stance, he strikes me as being passionate over what he says, but at what price?
If this lot started to practice what they've themselves preached, they would gain a lot more credibility. Instead, they choose to pander to what they see as the as the wider 'voting' view. It's their whole message which is so utterly wrong.
Lou, you strike me as having an excellent take on welfare debate, your knowledge is very impressive and you are very expressive, are you able to put your talents to good use?
I've added the link to my favourites on my laptop! I think I will need some more memory soon!
Buckskins. Agreed, small business does have an important part to play. But it must be done with promotion of suitable skills. When a client comes to see me and says he wants to be a carpenter, I'd say 'are you any good with a saw?', if he (or she) said they wanted to be a self employed carpenter, I'd then remind them of how 75% of their work would be with a saw and the remaining 25& would be with a computer or paperwork doing their books, accounts and marketing. That's where the training is needed.
I've got a private firm coming to do a presentation to our staff this week and we are trying to work out packages of support for the potentially self employed, we're doing our bit!
I don't much care whether you are a Tory or not, to me you are a despicable excuse of a human being Mr 'Divine', to me you are a mere nobody, I care not about your views, to me they are nothing. Your abuse to others is something you should be thoroughly ashamed of, you are the kind of person who would really deserve one day to end up in some permanent vegetative state, I never thought I'd say that to any one but you're so vile; you deserve it. What you say to decent people like Lou and Stuart is an absolute disgrace, you should be thoroughly ashamed of yourself you poisonous little man, go and do what you advocate 'most intellectually' of....you'll know what I mean!
You need a life and a lesson in humanity.
Thanks for that 'old man'. I could only find 07-08. Very interesting...
Hold on, not too bright on this stuff but isn'it National Insurance income tax too?
And why do dividends attract less tax, even at the high end?
What poverty? I travel up and down this country i see no poverty, just idleness and welfare dependency. The safety net, you write about, under New Labour, became a bloody fishing-net, trapping more people into state dependency.
@Lox. No hysterical BS is slashing the budgets of some Government departments by 20% or even up to 40% to appease the deficit hawks.
Not even dear old Mags cut by anything like that much!
Do you know what a 30% cut to a department looks like? I don't know and by the way neither does anyone else, but we will all find out soon enough thanks to Nick & Vince and Dave & Gideon!
Clegg was talking out of his rear end when he said the cuts were not a ideological attack on the size of the state!
Luddite: If you see everything in that way, may I suggest....Specsavers?
You see Mr Divine, I don't buy any of this about you being educated to the level you say, your story changes all the time, your need to peddle in all that is vile, tells me you are bitter and twisted, it's in your blood and in your head, you are full of hatred and that comes from being a victim at some stage in your sad and sorry life. My guess is that comes from your routes in the deprived area you really still belong. Truth is, I'm not much interested though, the want of understanding is lost on individuals such as you.
He believes communes and cooperatives are the answers to everything in this society, not that I'm against either but it's a narrow point of view.
He has made some valid points on these pages before, just a shame he has to be such a nasty bastard to people for no reason. No one takes him seriously anymore.
He's also been banned from quite a few blogs and it's laughable that he should moan about me at the computer when one looks at the amount of posts he makes across the internet, it's a bit of the pot calling the kettle black ass.
Anyway, he got what he wanted - attention and a reaction and he'll sleep better for having done so.
Back to the debate.....
Couldn't help swearing, apolgies to everyone but Mr D
I don't know how you stave of the insults with such dignity Lou...I'll rejoin the debate tommorow (oh but not in 'work's time' though!).
Kicking myself for lowering to his level with the language - hardly dignified - but sometimes you just have to vent your spleen!
hey buckskins.hows it going dude,how many people in this blog put there x in the box in may and voted for the tory/lib coalition goverment of cuts,are these the same people who are bellyaching saying i will never ever vote for tory/lib dems again,i ask you dummys this, why did you vote for these cuts in the first place because gideon osbourne warned in advance big cuts are coming.serves you right.
well nick,the fuse of anger is going to blow sooner or later when people start feeling the real suffering in there lifes due to these evil cuts,i heard today on lbc today all police leave in birmingham is cancelled in a few weeks time due to fear of violence at the conservatives october conference and the word on the street is certain far left groups and groups like class war fronted by ian bone from all over the country are going to descend on birmingham to create mayhem and street violence in there opposition to these spending cuts,this could be the start of something nasty in the weeks ahead. i wonder then will they still cut the police force by 40,000.
Sorry for the delay, was distracted by a tiger - lol - on the tv.
I immediately picked that paragraph out myself, it's very true. Of course IDS is not going to be allowed to bring in the reform that he wants to and it's a shame because he has a really good grasp on quite a lot of the problems of welfare and how people get trapped in it and also the inconsistenncies within the system that reward some and penalise others.
What talents and what use? :o)
I unfortunately ended up being welfare dependent a few years ago now. I was taken quite seriously ill overnight and for a long time I carried on working, I was doing reception/office/accounts work at the time and I didn't want to give up work, I used to go into work and literally - I kid you not - lie down and do my job for an eight or ten hour shift! (So all you detractors out there, we aren't all taking the easy way out) It got to a point where I had no choice but to give up work as I couldn't put one foot in front of the other yet every time I felt a little better I would return to work and then be off sick again and so on until the employer let me go because I couldn't do the job anymore reliably. I also lost my home at the same time as the property was tied to the job.
I have tried to return to work since then but unreliability saw me kicked out again after a matter of months. Now I recognise that I'm not well enough to work and don't beat myself up about it anymore.
That's how I came to have some understanding of the welfare system - by being at it's mercy, being put on sick, kicked off sick, going to appeal, going to tribunal and so on. The never ending merry go round that us scroungers have to endure! If someone could find me a job that I could do from home around my health and the good days/bad days/good bits within a day etc etc then I'll be at the front of the queue.
Oh I know Lou, but the trolls just sink you sometimes, still the thing is you can surface with pride. He'll forever be stuck under water on the sea bed in all that mud!
@stuart: I've broken through to the other side (The Doors). I'm the link, I'm the First Shepherd of the Third Kingdom, the First Seal in the Book of Revelations. It's funny because I'm the only person who will ever believe/know this. Everybody else will dismiss me as a nutter.. including you.
The Hippywizard is committed to cooperatives... me too. I'm bothered about the rest of his/her ideas but I perceive that the future of the developed world is best served by cooperatives and communes starting from a micro scale. Central government produces laziness and inefficiency while private business produces long hours, boredom and cynicism.
There has to be third way. When you think about it enough, then you'll see that ultimately there must be a different route for the future. Like I said I am a link and the Hippywizard has taken the first step away from the traditional left/right divide. He is one of the first of my followers. You are still in the cynics camp thinking that I am totally with you, but you are closer to the Hippywizard than you think. You know that I've got something beyond all the other commentators that you have conversed with, and in some ways I am your bro. Yes indeed, but predicting and promoting a 'better' future .. well that's the voice of a prophet. And for better or for worse I feel I hold that position. But of course you being in the cynics camp .. will take the piss! Or will you?
Never mind Birmingham, Stuart! Somebody better get the Troll Police on here and serve a restraining order on you know who! Lol!
@Iden Good point. I do wonder though if what you're talking about has more to do with declining jobs in rural / smaller urban areas - rather than national welfare cuts - but I'm no expert and I take your point. One way or another, though, the economy is crying out for cutbacks and career scroungers must be first in the firing line. Not least of all because their contribution would be twofold: first saving the govt welfare payouts, and second through their new economic & fiscal output.
@Stuart there's nothing bigoted about pointing out that some unscrupulous individuals lie & cheat their way into getting benefits. It happens in every country in the world.
Well it's a shame that people like IDS are being blocked from providing a constructive and well evidenced based view. This coalition will fail on welfare reform, I'm 100% certain of that, those that say otherwise; will see.
That must have been tough going through all that, it's a common thread over just how so many want to work, contrary to what the less informed may say.
May be a local CAB or advice agency would be interested in you doing some voluntary social policy coordinating? they'd probably be agreeable to home working, you'd get your expenses paid, wouldn't affect your benefits, you would write some very well written reports which do help towards actioning a National agenda for change, you write some very eloquent posts on here. Just an idea, hope you don't take offence.
mr undivine,why would somebody like you who has a ba in politics and ma in linguistics want to copy my views then say your using them against me,that does not make sense,and if you read my views properly they are in the context to the subjects being discussed with no malice and straight talking,your problem is mr undivine i dont even think you know what your views are anyway and thats why your so confused.
well nick, i have a 3 strikes and your out policy on blog stalkers and trolls like mr undivine and at the present moment he is on 2 strikes,so the next he makes anti social comments directed at me will i will invoke his third strike and a asbo served on him by me.
'M': "the economy is crying out for cutbacks and career scroungers must be first in the firing line. Not least of all because their contribution would be twofold: first saving the govt welfare payouts, and second through their new economic & fiscal output"
or alternatively, "the economy is crying out for cutbacks and career tax avoiders must be first in the firing line. Not least of all because their contribution would be twofold: first earning the govt massive tax payouts, and second through their new moral & social input"
hey, call me old fashioned
@stuart I'm not copying your views, I'm copying your attitude. Can't you remember insulting people? I'm just doing the same thing to you! You have said to people, "oh shut up .. its idiots like you...blah blah blah.' ... ya can give it but ya can't take it.
@Lou. You're right I do believe that cooperatives and communes are the way forward for society. In order for that to happen then a lot of centralised state needs to be dismantled. Too many people abuse a centralised state that takes from one group and gives it to another. In the end many people realise that it is not worth working and use any excuse to have an easy life. Or they realise that it better to work in government because there are plenty of well paid easy jobs. I don't blame them but ultimately this situation will collapse. That's why you have to say, 'How else is a more rewarding and equal society going to happen?' Lou, if you are really unable to expose yourself to light then why are you able to write and read and your computer? See what I mean by any old excuse? Take me seriously .. get outside and enjoy the sunlight.
@Nick: There isn't such a thing as a troll, it's a word that people use to describe another person whose views they disagree with. They resort to this when they are unable to put forward counter arguments. It is usually uttered by traditional narrow minded left wingers like yourself when they come across people like me who aren't Tories but aren't pinko liberals. They can't see the big picture.
And you don't think I graduated from the university! I went when only the top 2.5% could get in. Now anyone can do it. I'm not sure you graduated? You're not very open minded. I bet I'm right when I said you haven't lived outside the UK.. you need a wider life experience.
I completely agree with you Iain over the excessive administrative costs of sectors such as the DWP. Like I've said in many previous posts, the blame cannot be solely attributed to any one party, it is the accumulative effect of years of neglect under both Labour and the Tories. It is pointless to go finger wagging when apportioning culpability. What needs to be looked at is how it is going to be fixed without harming people.
What I completely disagree with is this Government and the way it spreads fear by sending out big shock messages to those who are least able to speak back, they would gain a whole lot more credibility by being a bit bolder and speaking out against those that really milk this Country of billions. Cable's words to those who really milk the Country will have little effect, the banks are already laughing in his face. To be credible, their actions must speak louder than words.
There is money left in this country, plenty of it, we don't need to borrow to get out of debt, it's simple; those that have the 'real' money should now cough up. No one can honestly say these bankers, big bosses, footballers,and celebrities are worth the sums they get paid; they simply get far too much.
The coalition's plans to reform welfare are not wholly opposed by me, I've made that clear. But the way they are going about is deplorable, it will be useless in its effect, they must change tact.
Not only will these cuts destroy lives in a physical way, they will induce a Nation of good people who live in fear, hatred will breed. Perhaps the biggest harm this coalition will do is to divide the Nation even more, on this thread we can see an abundance of how hatred is already festering, that's just not good. Argue all you like, there are more important things in life than money and the greed created by those who want only to preserve their wealth.
To my knowledge in the last 70 years the crucial question---Why are the poor poor? Has never been seriously asked.The UK has had free, compulsary basic education since 1880,[improved through time]. A pension since 1907, free health service since 1947, then the Family Allowance. Increased welfare benefits almost year upon year.
So just why is it that one family will get by, whilst another will fail?
Is the UK vastly overpopulated? Is it a slow decline due to loss of Empire? My grandfathers were as poor as they come, and I was schooled through WW2. We lived mostly on rabbit pie.So where is the real answer?
Absolutely no offence taken.
I would like to do some voluntary work but I have found that people want reliability and regular commitment as in set hours set days which I can't offer. I'll make some enquiiries regarding your suggestions.
It might seem a bit of a strange statement to say I need to work from home but I'm intolerant of sunlight, uv light, fluorescent lights and have to black out my windows on any sunny days (yep, I'm a vampire really lol) as part of my health problems so it's very difficult for me to function in an ordinary working environment. Employers have an obligation to adapt to a worker's needs but not to adapt to the extent where they accomodate these sort of problems for a prospective employee rather than an existing one.
Generally I've found, when you have a long term chronic illness - you can be as equally qualified as everyone else for a job but you won't get a look in once they know about your health. I can't say I blame them, I would feel the same if I was an employer, they need reliable staff.
George Osborne and this government have absolutely no idea of the reality of illness and yet make sweeping statements about how most ill people are capable of some work.
Yep, it's been tough but there's many, many more far worse off than I am and I'm quite a resilient person.
Good to see some members at the Lib Dem conference today sticking up for us.
Totally agree with you Mr. Divine. Your views are not only witty but also extremely insightful.
@stuart. you may not remember me but you called me an idiot. It's great to see Mr. Divine making you look like a complete tosser .. I hope he doesn't let up.
Laurie Penny is a contributing editor to the New Statesman.