Freethinkeruk’s Weblog

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New Benefits Plan

The Government is to bring in new rules and systems for people on unemployment or disability benefits. The Tories have already offered their support which is not surprising as it is the kind of plan that the Tories would come up with rather than what we should expect from a Labour Government.

As with all these types of plan it seems reasonable on the face of it. If after a reasonable amount of time you won’t or can’t find work then you will be made to do community work in order to continue receiving the benefit. The work will be such things as cleaning graffiti off walls, litter picking etc. This will of course go towards decreasing the availability ‘real’ jobs and I can’t see for example, an unemployed I.T. consultant or ex company director doing this work, it will be the ‘ordinary’ people. The clever ones will work their way onto the proposed higher level of benefit for those not expected to be able to find work for one reason or another.

Some people of course do get into a rut of not working and they need encouragement. The trouble is, as usual, the problem is looked at from the wrong perspective. It is not that benefits are too high but that the incentive to work is too low. The minimum wage is not sufficient for the average person to have a decent lifestyle by today’s standard and couple this with the obscene salaries and bonuses paid to those at the higher end of the pay scale it’s not hard to see where the problem lies. The shift of wealth from those who have little, to those who already have much has increased exponentially for decades and even more so under the present government.

Oh by the way, this whole idea, endorsed by the Government, comes from David Freud, an investment banker!

The other part of this proposed plan is to force drug addicts onto rehabilitation programmes or they too will have their benefits stopped. Ask any psychologist or anyone with knowledge of the mind and they will confirm that you can’t force people into rahab. they must want it or it just doesn’t work. Given that the majority of crimes are committed to pay for drugs then stopping benefits will obviously increase crime. Politicians never seem to think anything through.

It is easy of course to make a show of clamping down on those unorganised, voiceless and powerless members of our society who need help rather than to tackle the inequalities, the wealthy tax cheats, those who send their money to tax havens and who can afford accountants to ensure that they contribute as little as possible to the common good. Margaret Thatcher stills rules, simply changed her name to Gordon Brown.

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One thought on “New Benefits Plan

  1. Alex Pettigrew on said:

    Your observation about the gap between rich and poor getting wider prompted a memory. in the days of black and white television (how long was that?) I can remember a talk being given by a leading economist (unfortunately I forget who) in which the thesis was put forward that the gap between rich and poor had narrowed as much as it was ever going to get. He predicted that as time passed the gap would increasingly widen. unfortunately he has been proved correct.
    As you rightly point out there is a basic problem in our society with a very unequal distribution of wealth, although how we persuade company directors to be less greedy I am not sure! Perhaps it is down to the shareholders, although too many shares are in the hands of too few institutions and individual shareholders are not well organised.

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