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Archive for the category “Benefit System”

Single Mothers/Single Parents

The following could equally apply to single fathers of course but most often it is single mothers whether through choice or of fathers not having the guts or willingness to shoulder their responsibilities that are the concern of this blog.

I have long pondered the societal problem of young women who find themselves pregnant either deliberately or by ‘accident’ through unprotected sex and when deciding to go ahead and give birth expect society to pick up the bill and pay an enormous cost in welfare benefits for many years. The State provides ‘the morning after pill’ for that moment of panic next day when the thought of what if comes to mind, failing which counselling is available when another choice, again provided freely by the State, of abortion is an option.

If despite those options the decision to continue with the pregnancy is made then we, society at large, will have to support both mother and child for at least 18 years maybe more if the offspring goes to university. We cannot deprive the child of equal opportunity. Single parents usually jump the housing queue which is grossly unfair on those who patiently wait but frankly there is little we can do about that apart from building sufficient homes which successive governments have been unwilling to do but that’s another story. To get pregnant is a fast track to your own home is a well known route for many young women as is not having to bother to get a job for many, many, years. It cannot be right that choosing to have a baby is rewarded with the security to play on Snap chat or Instagram while everyone else is working to pay for it or is actively seeking work.

A possible solution occurred to me recently when feeling disgusted at the fees now charged to university students, why not a similar scheme for single parents? So yes we’ll have to provide a home, yes, we’ll have to financially support the mother and child BUT when the child reaches five years we will expect and demand that the mother seeks at least part time employment and half the earnings will be taken back in extra taxation. At aged eleven we will expect full time working and the same half taken in tax as during this time benefits will continue as before which eliminates a lot of paper work while at the same time providing incentive. When the child or children reach independence then extra tax taken at say, 5% of net income taken for the rest of working life as the hundreds of thousands it has cost is unlikely to ever be repaid in full. Going after fathers who fail to pay is for another time.

I welcome comments and suggestions.

 

 

The Cameron Cancer

Would you pay £47.51 for a chicken? Of course not! If the cost of chickens had increased at the same rate the same rate as house rentals over the last 30 years that is what you’d be paying.

A majority of people believe that benefits should be cut, they have swallowed the Tory lies. Housing benefit rose by £1 billion last year and you are lead to believe that it went to the lazy workshy or to single mothers or to drug addicts. In fact 98% went to people who are actually in work! The continuing shortage of housing and landlords greedily ripping off the State are the reasons behind this incredible increase; to cut benefits is to tackle the problem from completely the wrong end.

Cameron’s answer is to compel thousands of our fellow citizens to move hundreds of miles from their homes, their friends and families, and to drag children away from their schools. Under 25’s to be forced to go home to their parents after further education or training rather than starting employment (if they can find any) on low wages because they simply can’t afford a roof over their head. This is the economics of the madhouse.

The arrogance of this extremely wealthy Prime Minister beggars belief, in that he thinks that by kicking away the crutch of a cripple it will make him walk. He cannot countenance the real solution as this would possibly affect his and his rich friends grasp on the national wealth. Embark on a massive house building program which not only employs building workers but also manufacturing by way of the building materials but also every new home will need carpets, curtains, furniture, the list is almost endless, creating even more jobs. Rents to be controlled by law and the National Minimum Wage increased substantially to catch up with what it should be worth. This would also put more of the burden onto employers rather than the tax payers.

It was announced today that government borrowing for the month of May increased by £2 billion more than expected due mainly to lower tax receipts. What the hell do they expect? 2.6 million out of work and 1.4 million in part time work wishing they were in full time employment and therefore not paying any or very little income tax. This regime is a cancer spreading over our land and the only therapy that will work is to cut it out and soon.

Benefits – Wrong Cuts

The Bishops .in particular, in the House of Lords are speaking out against the proposed Welfare benefit cuts and putting aside the fact that Bishops are un-elected and should have no place in our law making process, they are right to do so.

Yes there is a problem with too much being paid out but this is not the fault of the claimants at whom the government likes to point the finger of blame. As usual governments and particularly Tory ones, wear blinkers and always react by hitting the weakest hardest rather than looking more deeply into a problem. Stopping just short of naming them as ‘scroungers’ ministers speak of them as ‘getting’ £25000, £35000 + per year but let’s just pause and think for a moment. Who is actually ‘getting’ this largesse? A not uncommon rent in London and other large cities could be £300 per week which equates to nearly £16,000 in a year and this goes to Landlords who are generally investment companies and rich individuals taking advantage of a cronic housing shortage and the, so far, willingness of the welfare system to keep paying. It is the Landlords who are ‘getting’ the payouts not the claimants.

Tackle the greed of landlords, tackle the housing shortage and there will be no need to uproot people, to risk family breakdown and impose intolerable stress on individuals. These proposals should be fought  with as much vigor as was the Poll Tax but I doubt it will happen. The Poll Tax affected everyone, these proposals affect only a weak and demonised minority.

Choices

Let’s face it this country is in a mess! It’s like a ship in a raging storm heading towards rocks and the captain shouts “Hold this course!” His Lieutenant who hopes one day to become captain shouts “Hold this course but slow down a bit.” The little cabin boy can see the rocks but feeling helpless crawls into  his hammock and puts his hands over his eyes and cotton wool in his ears, holding on to a blind trust in the madness of the officers because to do otherwise would require him to DO something.

The UK, along with other Western nations, owes money, a lot of money and so it was rightly decided to reduce this debt and this is where our witless leadership went wrong. They had no one with vision or moral integrity and so they set about taking money from those who had little, those without, they believe, power, attacking the sick, the pensioners, students, the lower paid workers who actually produce the wealth that makes us the 6th richest nation on Earth. They chose not to rein in the bankers and financial directors, they chose not to go after those who avoid paying their proper share of taxation amounting to tens of billions each year because they themselves belong to, or aspire to belong, to that elite band. They chose not to save up to £200billion by cancelling the Trident nuclear weapon system which will never be used and deters no one simply because this would deprive them of a seat at the top table of the United Nations. Instead of strutting they may have to walk like the rest of humankind.

They chose not to invest in a massive social housing programme that is desperately needed for millions of our citizens and would create and safeguard hundreds of thousands of jobs. In it’s wake this would generate spending power for the workers thus creating more employment and in addition, tax revenues. A bi product would also be a likely reduction in ever increasing housing rental costs which (some) greedy landlords are reaping in such places as London where tenants are now to be evicted because of government cuts to housing benefit. Instead they chose borrowing even more to fund rapidly increasing unemployment which is a tried and tested method of keeping wage increases to a minimum. Not such a surprising choice either when many of those currently in power like Chris Grayling, are indeed wealthy property owners.

We too though have choices. Even in this poor democracy of ours we do not have to be like the cabin boy; the power ‘they’ hold is in reality, our power that we lend to them. They stick together but they are only a few, we are millions and if only we can stick together and demand a new way, a new vision, then we can take back our power and steer our ship away from the rocks, into calmer waters of fairness, justice, democracy, co-operation and peace.

But have we the guts?

The Tory Plan Comes Together

Ian Duncan Smith is about to unveil plans to force the long term unemployed to do unpaid work. What work you may ask? Well, work that used to be done by people who had ‘proper’ jobs employed by local councils etc but have now been made redundant by the government’s cut backs.

Of course the long term unemployed need encouragement to get back to work if possible but this encouragement should be along the lines of ‘Here’s a job you could do, we’ll arrange an interview.’ This plan of the Tory’s is little short of forced or slave labour given that for a start there are five unemployed people chasing every vacancy and that’s before the cuts really bite. If this is where our country is headed then I’m ashamed to be British and this disgraceful coalition should hang their heads in shame too but I doubt very much it’ll happen.

Social ‘Cleansing’

Under this ideologically driven government, because of changes to the Housing Benefit system, many thousands of tenants will be driven from their homes, their neighbourhoods,  their children from their schools and away from their friends and support networks. In addition many, as a result, will also lose their jobs.

Were all the tenants of similar ethnic backgrounds this would be classed as ‘ethnic cleansing’ and would be illegal under international law and questions would be raised in the United Nations and most likely sanctions imposed on the UK.  The tenants though are not all similar only sharing the inability to pay criminally high rents. They will be forced to move to the outer suburbs, assuming that accommodation there is available, thus leaving their old homes for the wealthy. This is surely ‘Social Cleansing’ which to our ever lasting shame is ‘legal’. In addition no mention has been made of the costs of moving; credit reference checks, deposits, carpets, curtains etc and the actual cost of removal. These additional burdens to placed on people of low income.

Yes I can see that some housing benefit costs are ludicrously high and unsustainable but putting the blame on the tenants is like blaming the victim of a mugger for being in that particular street at that particular time of the day.

So what could be done in ‘fairness’, that much abused word of late? Cap the current rent as it is and leave the tenants where they are. When they move or die then bring in the Housing Benefit level at that proposed, for new tenancies.  If the landlords don’t like it, let them squirm or threaten them with compulsory purchase at the lowest national rate. The real problem though is of course a lack of affordable housing. A large and sustained building programme should be embarked upon to house the 1.8 million on housing waiting lists and this would also create thousands of jobs not only in building but in manufacturing and the service sector. The only problem of course is that Conservatives are also capitalists through and through and capitalism depends on a pool of unemployed to keep wages down and a housing shortage to keep those prices up and so increase profits.

 

HM Department of Loan Sharks

The Dept of Work & Pensions under Iain Duncan Smith (IDS) is today announcing a loan ‘service’ for the poor and vulnerable in our society. (Let’s ignore for a moment whether in the 21st Century there should still ‘poor & vulnerable and that an earlier Tory had said ‘there is no such thing as Society’)

This scheme called My Home Finance is supposed to protect people who are in dire straits from the clutches of loan sharks who charge exorbitant rates of interest often backed up with threats of violence.  From this perspective it’s a good idea. The scheme though, when rolled out nationwide, will be charging 49.9% interest! At a time when the Bank of England Rate is 0.5% and credit card companies are offering around 12% and Credit Unions are prohibited by law from charging more than 26.8% but usually charge less, I would call this Government scheme Loan Sharking.

If further proof were needed that this Con/Dem coalition is intent on fleecing the poor to pay for the capitalist excesses you must be very difficult to convince.

Political Stupidity

Just how stupid can politicians get or do they not think things through? Probably both!

The latest idiocy is to suggest cutting the benefits of people unable to work because of their addiction  to drugs or alcohol unless they agree to take part in a rehabilitation programme.

All they had to do was to ask a therapist (& I happen to be one) for an opinion and they would have been told that unless the addict really wants to change, any therapy will be a complete waste of time and money.  In addition, surely it must be obvious that cutting benefits will result in more crime in order to feed the habit or buy the booze.

If anyone needs rehabilitation into real life it must be politicians, most of ’em anyway.

Manifesto You Wont See (Mine)

DEFENCE: We believe that threatening the annihilation of millions of fellow humans is wrong so we are getting rid of all nuclear weapons. This will make us less of a threat and so reduce our risk of attack. We will also save billions of Pounds.

We will have a review of the past few hundred years to see just why we have rampaged around the globe engaging in acts of aggression and stop doing it. Our military services will have only defensive weapons and therefore we will finally pose no threat to any other nation thereby further reducing our risks to near zero.

HOUSING: No further second homes will be allowed and existing ones will pay treble Council Tax until there are no more homeless or sub standard housing. All private property will become State owned on the demise of the current owners. (This will reduce house prices enormously and make them affordable places to live in and not investments for profit)

ENERGY: Rail, Electricity supply, Gas and Water will be re-nationalised.

WAGES & BENEFITS: All State benefits (except unemployment) will be cancelled and in their place the national minimum wage will be raised to a level fit to live on, along with pensions. There will be no unemployment benefit on leaving education until at least two years of employment have been completed. Benefit will be earnt by community service to prevent drifting into benefit dependency. No one will be allowed to earn more than ten times the minimum wage and bonuses will be outlawed. A fair days pay for a fair days work will be the norm.

TRANSPORT: Cities and urban areas with good public transport will be subject to an extra vehicle tax similar to the London congestion charge. Money raised will offset fuel reductions to those in rural areas where personal transport is essential.

DEMOCRACY: A good idea which will be adopted starting with an elected Head of State rather than an unelected monarchy. The second chamber shall also only have elected members. A fair voting system will be adopted where no vote is a wasted vote.

All connections between religion and the State shall be severed and all tax advantages currently applied to churches, mosques etc will end.

CRIME: All drugs will be de-criminalised and available on prescription thereby cutting up to 70% of crime. This will have the added benefit of slashing the prison population which doesn’t work anyway and saving huge sums of money.

The creation of a more fair and equal society would of itself reduce the incidence of crime. The current method of sentencing is ineffective, there being no point in a fixed time inside, therefore custodial terms will be opened ended. That is to say when it is considered the offender is ready to take his/her proper productive place back in society then they are released with adequate support and not before.

EDUCATION: Management costs will be no more than 1% of the budget and teachers will revert to running the schools and colleges. Choice of school will be abolished and all schools will be of an approved standard in all areas. University fees will be abolished but a small lifetime increase in income tax will enable graduates the satisfaction of repaying society for the privilege.

Private education establishments will be abolished by ever increasing taxation.

HEALTH: Management costs as for education. Medical staff taking more responsibility for running hospitals and clinics etc. A State pharmaceutical research facility will be set up and tight controls put on those in the private sector. Drugs which are highly expensive and merely prolong life by months will not be available.

Private health care will be abolished by progressively rising taxes.

LAND: All land will be nationalised without compensation and a rent paid for all private property upon it.

Pay the Taliban

What a brilliant idea it is to pay the Taliban to stop killing our soldiers!

Why don’t we take the idea a step further? We could pay thieves to stop robbing our houses or mugging us in the streets, we could pay drug dealers to stop pushing and vandals to play nicely in the park.

We could even pay politicians to speak the truth and keep their promises. Oh! we’ve done that, it doesn’t work.

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