Poor people still clinging to life, warns Iain Duncan Smith

(120 Posts)
ttosca Mon 31-Dec-12 15:34:38

The work and pensions secretary has issued a stark warning that some poor people are stubbornly clinging to life despite his best efforts to remove them from the welfare system by killing them off.

Writing in the Daily Telegraph, Iain Duncan Smith said that people who are poor and alive are much more likely to claim benefits and tax credits than people who are dead.

“The overwhelming majority of people who claim benefits are alive,” he explained.

“This is a situation that we cannot allow to continue.”

“We need to implement a system that encourages people off benefits and into mortuaries.”
Duncan Smith on obituaries

Mr Duncan Smith also lambasted the tax credit system put in place by Labour, describing it as “not fit for purpose”.

“It is not fair that decent hardworking people should have to foot the bill for decent hardworking people,” he said.

“What we need is a fairer system that involves employers paying what they want, being able to sack people when they want and for whatever reason they want.”

“Employers are more likely to create jobs and take on more staff if they can sack them.”

Duncan Smith used numerous pieces of evidence-free evidence in order to highlight how the poorest in society are causing the UK to haemorrhage money quicker than Paul Merson playing Three-card Monte.

“It is important when discussing welfare reforms that I use the word ‘fraud’ as often as possible,” he said.

“It is equally important when discussing tax avoidance and MPs expense claims that I don’t use it at all.”

“That way everyone knows where they stand.”


MissyRain Mon 31-Dec-12 15:38:39

Can MPs be sacked? hmm

ZebraInHiding Mon 31-Dec-12 15:44:47

That is a spoof news site.

It'd be funny if it wasn't true.... wink

tethersjinglebellend Mon 31-Dec-12 15:57:13


scrablet Mon 31-Dec-12 15:58:57

D'ya think Zebra...?

SleighbellsRingInYourLife Mon 31-Dec-12 16:01:33


Also - did you win the Christmas name comp, tethers, for jingle bellend? grin

Nice work smile

FromEsme Mon 31-Dec-12 16:04:31

Is it really a spoof, do you really think so? Hrm.

tethersjinglebellend Mon 31-Dec-12 16:14:37

Not even a nomination, Sleighbells. Gutted. It's almost like MNHQ don't realise how important I am.

noisytoys Mon 31-Dec-12 16:18:46

This makes me so sad. Even if it is a spoof, this is what is happening in 2012 / 2013 in Britain hmm

ttosca Mon 31-Dec-12 16:22:59

This, on the other hand, is not a spoof:

Iain Duncan Smith: Monster of the Year 2012

Some people just don’t know when to keep their mouths shut.

It seems Iain Duncan Smith, the creature whose Department for Work and Pensions launched an ethnic cleansing programme (in all but name) against the sick and disabled in 2011 and 2012, has now turned his baleful glare on the working poor.

Tax credits – the system devised by the last Labour government to try to relieve poverty for people who work but receive low payment – has created “a sorry story of dependency, wasted taxpayers’ money and fraud”, according to the Immoral Delusional Sadist.

Let’s remember that this is the man who is using recorded fraud of 0.4 per cent, among sickness and disability claimants, to force at least 20 per cent of them off benefits altogether. His understanding of the extent of fraud is, well, flawed.

Let’s also remember that his planned replacement for tax credits – the Universal Credit – is already far over budget and still far from ready, despite pilot projects being scheduled to start in April. Its expected national roll-out in October may be put back to 2014. This man knows how to waste taxpayers’ money with the best of them!

As for tax credits creating dependency – this is the only part of his argument that could possibly be justifiable, and even then it is only because of government laxness regarding pay. If the national minimum wage had risen in line with company bosses’ average pay, it would currently stand at more than £18 per hour – three times its actual current level. That should explain everything you need to know about why low-paid workers may be dependent on tax credits to survive.

Tax credits – and other state top-ups for the working poor, like housing benefit and the soon-to-disappear Council Tax benefit – are only paid in high amounts because they subsidise employers who refuse to pay a living wage. If the private sector paid working people what they are worth, the benefits bill would drop like a stone.

The Insidious Dole Snatcher is currently leading an overhaul of the welfare system that will see a number of benefits replaced by a new universal credit that is designed, he says, “to make work pay at each and every hour”. He keeps saying this. I don’t understand why. Cutting benefits to less than what people are paid at work won’t “make work pay” – it’ll throw more and more people into poverty, debt and destitution.

But this is a creature who is determined to do his worst – actually refusing to be moved from Work and Pensions in David Cameron’s autumn reshuffle in order to continue inflicting his wrath on the defenceless poor.

The latest attack on the unemployed is the Universal Jobmatch computer system. Jobseekers are coerced into signing up (they don’t have to) and into ticking a box which allows Job Centre Plus staff to view their activities and pass their personal details on to possible employers (again, this is not a legal requirement). Advertisers on the site have, so far, included identity thieves and pimps.

Obviously, if you don’t have a computer – and many claimants don’t because, in case you’ve missed it, they’re poor – this system is impossible to use.

That’s not good enough for the Irrational Debt Starter. Under a headline that stated “Log on or stop signing on”, he told Metro: “I’m a job adviser and I’ve got someone who doesn’t want to do this. I will haul them in a lot. Instead of them going in every two weeks, these job advisers can bring them in every day if they want, if they think they are not getting out of bed in the morning.”

If the adviser does not believe the claimant is looking for work, their benefits will be withdrawn, he added.

In other words, not owning a computer is not, in this lunatic’s world, a good enough reason not to use a computerised jobsearch system.

I wasn’t going to do an ‘end-of-year awards’ feature but it is for the above reasons that Mr Smith takes the biscuit – ahead of other heavyweight contenders like Andrew Lansley (ruined the English NHS), George Osborne (expenses cheat, continuing to ruin the national economy), Maria Miller (expenses cheat, threw disabled people out of work by closing Remploy factories), Michael Gove (ruining our education system), Jeremy Hunt (too close to certain media barons) and of course David Cameron (living embodiment of dishonest with an embarrassing combover to boot) – to take the title.

Smith – YOU are Vox Political’s Monster of the Year!


CogitOCrapNotMoreSprouts Mon 31-Dec-12 16:33:44

I think IDS is quite right about the Tax Credit problem. Badly thought through when it was introduced, open to abuse, bribing the wealthy rather than supporting the poor, keeping wages artificially low, impossible for a layman to check if the awards are right or wrong resulting in terrible anxiety when refunds are demanded and .... especially criminally for a Labour government to engineer this.... keeping good people down and dependent, knowing their place, rather than helping them advance and be more independent.

incogneetow Mon 31-Dec-12 16:36:21

Zebra ...! grin

ttosca Mon 31-Dec-12 17:04:38

Very funny, Cogito.

claig Mon 31-Dec-12 17:07:31

Cogito, where do you get this stuff from? The same spoof website?

News thump is pretty good. As is the Daily Mash. Must be hard for them though when the government of the day's actions are beyond parody grin

2old2beamum Mon 31-Dec-12 17:19:43

Cogito DH and I would be stuffed without CTC. we are OAP's and have 2 DC's age 7 &14 with complex needs

Jux Mon 31-Dec-12 17:24:49


crypes Mon 31-Dec-12 17:29:09

If the politicians keep talking about the scrounging workshy poor who have nothing and live in an area with no jobs anyway then we may all forget about those billionaires and companys that have off shore accounts and dont pay any corporation tax in this country.

BoulevardOfBrokenSleep Mon 31-Dec-12 17:34:28

cogito, do you really think that if tax credits disappeared tomorrow, wages would actually rise in any meaningful way? (factor into your calculations the current unemployment rate, and of course workfare...)

crypes Mon 31-Dec-12 17:37:48

We may forget about the bill for terrorists and criminals legal aid, we may forget about mp,s allowances for two homes and all the rest they get given, we may forget about the bankers and banks cos thanks to them no one can easily get a mortgage anymore even though it wasnt homeowners that got the country into debt. So lets all blame the poor, those little parasites that have nothing in a country that didnt educate them properly, and take their stuff away.

claig Mon 31-Dec-12 17:39:17

'do you really think that if tax credits disappeared tomorrow, wages would actually rise in any meaningful way?'

The fact that they argue this tosh shows that they don't understand the market system or pretend that they don't understand the market system. Employers are not charities, they will on the whole employ people at the minimum level that they can do so.

'keeping good people down and dependent, knowing their place, rather than helping them advance and be more independent'

that really means cutting benefits, "liberating" people and making them accept less.

ZebraInHiding Mon 31-Dec-12 17:41:11

Sorry. blush just thought, you know, if anyone thought it was real...

claig Mon 31-Dec-12 17:50:46

' we may all forget about those billionaires and companys '

crypes, that's what they hope we will do, but it won't work. They are millionaires and had all the advantages so they were never in the same boat as the rest of us, which is why they can so easily forget about us. But we are all in the same boat to a greater or lesser degree and we will identify with the people and not the millionaires.

When we read of elderly people dying in hospitals of dehydration and poor quality care and when we read that 60000 people have been put on death "pathway" without being told, we know that that may possibly end up as our fate or our relatives' fate, but it won't be the fate of the millionaires who are not in our boat.


They want us to think that we are all in it together with them - the millionaires. They want to "liberate" us and stop us being "held back". But we all know that they are lying.

claig Mon 31-Dec-12 17:55:30

'Anti-euthanasia group said: ‘The Pathway is designed to finish people off double quick'


That quote sounds like it could be something out of newsthump or another spoof site, but unfortunately it is a real quote.

claig Mon 31-Dec-12 17:58:21

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

NC78 Mon 31-Dec-12 18:00:46

Claig, have you seen this thread? www.mumsnet.com/Talk/am_i_being_unreasonable/1647446-to-think-Id-want-to-remain-conscious-if-dying-not-be-in-a-Liverpool-Care-Co

There's a lot of scare mongering going on about the LCP

Xmaspuddingsaga Mon 31-Dec-12 18:14:08

What shocked me was yesterday talking to Db (who is 25 unemployed and living with his working gf). He cannot claim jsa and therefore will not appear in the unemployment figures.Makes wonder how many are in the same boat.

claig Mon 31-Dec-12 18:18:08

NC78, I have seen some ex New Labour ministers on Sky News saying that they think the 'pathway' is a good idea. I don't trust a lot of New Labour types. I didn't think that Blair was 'a straight kinda guy' as he told us. I also don't like to see millionaire Tories saying that the 'pathway' is fantastic when thousans of people are put on it without being told.

I trust the people and the people's paper - the Daily Mail. I have more faith in the anti-euthanasia society than in many politicians. I' like millions of other Daily Mail readers, applaud the real Tory Daily Mail's fight to bring these subjects to public attention and to inform the people.



'Investigation, including child patients, will look at whether cash payments to hospitals to hit death pathway targets have influenced doctors' decisions'

I don't trust a lot of these 'targets'. I trust the people and the Daily Mail and it also seems to me that the spoof newspaper sites do get some things right.

WildWorld2004 Mon 31-Dec-12 18:26:17

I read his proper statement this morning. I dont think my work are going to increase my wages or my hours so that i dont need tax credits. The only job i could get was 8 hours a week. For me to be bringing home enough money i would need 4or 5 jobs. It is just not really practical.

I hate IDS & Osbourne & Cameron & the majority of the tories. They dont live in the real world.

grimbletart Mon 31-Dec-12 19:11:01

I have this little game I play - guess which threads are started by ttosca.
I have a 100% record so far. Sooooo predictable grin

CogitOCrapNotMoreSprouts Mon 31-Dec-12 19:17:32

Suppose I knew I'd be in a minority of one.... smile But even the most ardent supporter has to concede that Tax Credits were a botch job. Giving away handouts to families on £50k+?.... that's not helping poverty, that's an out and out electoral bribe. The bizarre calculation structure makes quantum physics look like a walk in the park and more than a few people (who probably need the money) simply don't claim for fear that HMRC will come knocking asking for the money back. Because it's so difficult to calculate & so variable with income disregards and so forth it's relatively easy to fiddle.

No I don't think wages would suddenly go up if WTCs disappeared because there's a surplus of labour and it's an employers' market. However, 10 years ago in the boom times, wages didn't go up much either... why?... because Tax Credits meant they didn't have to.

And yes, it keeps people down by providing them an income that they can never hope to match in the workplace owing to lack of qualifications or experience. Any system that results in having to weigh up whether it's worth taking the slightly better job or keeping sights set perpetually low for fear of losing TCs is not promoting social mobility. Which famously reduced under Labour...

You're welcome.

FestiveElement Mon 31-Dec-12 19:31:16

I agree with Cogito about tax credits.

I also think that the way the labour government encouraged confusion between working tax credits and child tax credits was a brilliant marketing ploy.

pointedlynoresolutions Mon 31-Dec-12 21:01:36

I think tax credits were a disaster - DH and I never claimed them though we would have been entitled, but we were put off by friends and colleagues having to pay back overpayments at ridiculously short notice because the system was so badly run. I also agree that they allowed employers to get away with paying poverty wages.

Having said all that, I think IDS is probably the most evil member of this hellish government and that he has a deep and abiding hatred of poor people because their existence reminds him that he was once one of them. And everything about his policies reminds me of a certain sign above the gate of a certain well-known Nazi death camp.

Jellykat Mon 31-Dec-12 21:21:10

Tax credits were/ are a lifeline for me and my fellow self employed claimants - building up a business takes time, meanwhile you've still got to eat, support children and run a home!

2old2beamum Mon 31-Dec-12 22:07:56

Jellykat like you without CTC we would not survive Perhaps IDS would like to come and shoot all our family DH & I too old to work DC's too disabled and young.

pointedlynoresolutions Mon 31-Dec-12 22:14:11

I agree that there should be financial support for people starting up businesses, and for people who are saving the state £megabucks by caring for disabled children. I am just not sure tax credits were ever the most sensible way to do it.

But it's all academic now that IDS is in charge, his hatred for people who aren't middle class or millionaires knows no bounds.

Leithlurker Mon 31-Dec-12 22:26:29

So would those that think tax credits are a bad thing like to tell us how else ar those that are paid low wages ever going to afford housing, transport, repayment of loans, repayment of student loans etc.

One way would be to raise the NMW to something useful, or perhaps force down the cost of all housing. Perhaps even prevent those earning less than 25k from taking on any more than 10k worth of debt. The slight of hand which introduced the notion of etc was not new labour it was brought in much earlier by the tories, and why? They knew damn well that unless low wages were subsidies the whole capitalist house of cards would be seen for what it is, a ponzie scheme.

So yes etc are not great they cover up for a basic shortfall in wages and in earning potential. So go on explain how you would paper the cracks or do we send the banking system in to yet another free fall and end the charade right here right now. Then those who have the most to lose will really have something to worry about.

Xenia Tue 01-Jan-13 10:18:01

IDS is a good man. I regard the first post as libelous. You may not agree with his politics but he certainly wants to do good as do most politicians of all parties. He is trying very hard to find a way to help those in difficulties and make work pay. He has fought the Government and won to allow the huge extra cost that the new universal benefit will cost.

The Pathway is not how it is represented. People need to read it properly. It has been misdescribed in the press by many people.

claig Tue 01-Jan-13 10:49:17

It is surprising to see that even the Guardian has a few questioning voices about the pathway.


The Daily Mail had an article which mentioned a 14 year old child who was on the pathway and who had died with his or her tongue stuck to the roof of their mouth due to not receiving water to drink.

In the Mail, a doctor described how babies shrank over days as they did not receive water.

In today's Mail, a man describes how his mother's head changed shape

'He added: ‘It was a grotesque death. When I watched my mother die over those 33 hours she was so thin and dehydrated, it actually changed the shape of her head.'

I would expect the Guardian to have articles which support the pthway


and I would expect the Daily Mail to question it


I think it is highly likely that the questioning of the Daily Mail and the Daily Telegraph is what led in part to an inquiry into it.

'"It is clear that everyone wants their loved ones' final hours of life to be as pain free and dignified as possible, and the Liverpool Care Pathway is an important part of achieving this aim. However, as we have seen, there have been too many cases where patients were put on the pathway without a proper explanation or their families being involved. This is simply unacceptable," said Lamb, a Liberal Democrat, in a statement.


Leithlurker Tue 01-Jan-13 10:57:38

IDS (Or Idiot Deserves Shooting as I like to call him) has presided over the whole sale dismantling of the safety net for hundreds of thousands of your fellow countrymen and women xenia. As you can see for yourself when you look at the number of appeals that are won by those who have the energy and the ability to fight against false and malicious ATOS assessments. Saving the government how much?

But that is not the main harm, the harm is the spiteful and deliberative misleading language which he as the person in charge has to take responsibility for, the language of scroungers and cheats. The wave of hate unleashed by the likes of the mail and the sun on disabled people and their careers which has manifested in higher incidents of hate crime being reported. This nice man of yours has set back the acceptance of disabled peoples right to be just an ordinary citizen by 20 years. We are once again back to being burdens with little prospect of leading independent meaningful lives, thanks to all the cuts and the general mismanagement of the economy. If he is an example of a good man, then we most definitely need a reality check.

niceguy2 Tue 01-Jan-13 11:04:56

Tax credits is/was a well meaning but badly implemented policy. Good because it had the noble aim of helping those on lower incomes. Bad because politician's used it as a political tool to hook middle income earners into benefits which they hoped would mean they'd be less likely to vote Tory in future.

Other bad points:

- Totally unfunded. Money for this was borrowed rather than switched from another area.

- Overly complex. Very few can work out their correct entitlement. How many people are overpaid each year and subject to clawbacks? Less now because Labour fiddled it by changing the threshold from £5k to £25k!

- Created a disincentive to work. Plenty of people are finding that extra hours don't pay.

I'm sure there are more.

So in my view, supporting those on lower incomes is fine. But it doesn't mean that tax credits are the only answer. Frankly it's been a piss poor answer. Those who say "Oh but I would have starved without it" are missing the point. The point is "Was tax credits the most efficient way?"

The answer to that has to be no. So for that reason I am looking forward to Universal Credit. It seems to be overall fairer. It won't be perfect. It may even take a bit of time to establish itself like tax credits did. No doubt the press will have a field day at every hiccup. But to plough on with a crap system seems madness to me.

Xenia Tue 01-Jan-13 15:19:29

IDS and indeed the coalition have the best interests of people at heart and are trying to improve a system which is rotten to the core and does not really work. Good luck to them. IDS has many many supporters out there despite the impression given on this thread.


JustAHolyFool Tue 01-Jan-13 15:24:45

I'm sure they do have their best interests at heart, but given that none of them have ever been poor, I can't see how they can possibly understand how to best legislate for people who have no money/chances/education.

"IDS and indeed the coalition have the best interests of people at heart"

People like them maybe.

NC78 Tue 01-Jan-13 16:01:44

Universal credit will be a shambles.

MiniTheMinx Tue 01-Jan-13 16:26:59

<<<IDS is a good man>>> yes I believe you are right Xenia, there is nothing inherently "evil" about Duncan Smith. But he is a misguided man, he sold out and works against his own class interest because his notion of "good" is tied up with "godly" he is the nearest thing the Tories have had to that other good man, their founder Edmund Burke. Who conflated poverty with immorality.

Burke's objection was to the confusion about the term 'labouring poor,' the confusion between those who worked for their subsistence and those who could not work and were dependent on charity. It was for the latter, he insisted, that the word 'poor' should be reserved – 'for the sick and infirm, for orphan infancy, for languishing and decrepit old age.'

So first you notice that the poor must be separated, then deny that the working poor exist. _IDS believes there is no such thing as working poor_

On that basis IDS is doing a fabulous job.

TC are a subsidy to businesses, the greatest wealth has been redistributed not to the poor but to businesses who offer less than subsistence pay.

Nothing changes, 250 years of working class subjugation and still people vote for their own ruin.

Xenia Tue 01-Jan-13 22:14:09

You are not describing the IDS that is IDS. Most people are out of work for one year. IDS is helping them get back on their feet. His universal credit is a good plan. It does seem to be getting complex. As you get all kinds of additions depending on number of children etc which seems to spoil the simplicity of the original plan but it is trying to ensure your benefits are not affected if you take on a bit of extra work rather than having to come on and off them all the time and seeks to reward those who work. What is not to like?

I don't think the fact MPs are in work means they cannot make laws which affect people who aren't. There seems to be huge hatred for the Coalition on this thread. Blair went to public school. IDS I think went to state school. I don't think either of them is/was precluded from making laws - indeed someone without education who has never worked is probably less likely not more likely to make better laws.

JustAHolyFool Tue 01-Jan-13 22:24:38

Do you know IDS personally, Xenia? You sound very confident as to his motives.

Of course the coalition are unpopular. It's got fuck all to do with what school they went to, really. But I resent that they seem to assume that everyone has the same chances in life when they just don't. I also don't agree with privatisation of schools, the NHS, railways etc, so of course I'm not going to like them.

You always seem to be so staggered that not everyone thinks the same as you. Well wake up. People have different views.

MiniTheMinx Tue 01-Jan-13 23:15:41

Well I think IDS is very much as I describe.....a thoroughly decent man but a deluded old fool. What is there not to like? well he is deluded, he is completely out of touch with reality, he hasn't grounded his policies by having studied or gleaned any facts about basic economics and he is a perfect example of someone who has sold out on his own class interest. The world now is a very different place to the one in which he landed opportunities, we have far less social mobility for instance.

Now, you can't propel people into social mobility where the conditions for this do not exist, you can't starve people into employment, you can't punish people for disadvantage or bad luck. What you can do, has been done before in the years 1945-1970, a time when IDS experienced many great advantages and when opportunity was abundant. WHY? because we had what could be described as a left/ or socially democratic large government, public ownership, a strong labour movement, strong financial regulation, higher taxes at the top, higher corporation taxes, investment into schools, NHS, LAs etc......

"But I resent that they seem to assume that everyone has the same chances in life when they just don't."

Absolutely. They definitely give the impression of believing that anyone who isn't rich only has themselves to blame and should be punished for it. Not taking into account the huge variety of external influences/luck that can affect someone's life/income. Also ignoring the fact that everyone can't be rich, there will always be people stuck at the bottom. Unless we made it so every single person had exactly the same amount of money, which I can't see happening really.

IDS, who has had his own struggles with unemployment that not even falsifying his CV helped with, is ridiculously nasty and divisive.

IDS has proposed to stop so-called under-employed people topping up their wages with tax credits etc when they are capable of working for longer - bear in mind that unemployment is incredibly high (as it generally is when Tories are in power) so people are, frankly, lucky to have any work they can get their hands on and may have little or no chance of moving from part-time to full-time unemployment or, if they are working full time, earning more money from their current job or finding something better paid. People will be told they have to earn a minimum amount each week from their jobs and will face losing their housing benefit and tax credits if they don't earn enough. To quote, "We are already requiring people on out of work benefits to do more to prepare for and look for work. Now we are looking to change the rules for those who are in-work and claiming benefits, so that once they have overcome their barriers and got into work, in time they can reduce their dependency or come off benefits altogether." He would like these plans to come into force this year.

I agree that tax credits do not subsidise people who claim them, they subsidise businesses; not just small ones but the likes of Asda, the Arcadia group (already notorious for its owner's tax evasion) and Vodaphone to name but a tiny few.

In fact, I wonder how much, for example, a night at the opera for IDS is subsidised by the taxpayer. Ushers, concession staff, cleaners, taxi drivers etc could all be receiving tax credits - IDS doesn't have to pay a fair price for his night out.

He's not basically a decent man.
People are dying because of his policies. Stats suggest 73 a month.

Families are being forced to food banks.

Tax Credits are a flawed system but until employers are compelled to pay a wage people can survive on IDS is just pulling the support away with nothing in its place. It's like taking the life ring away from a drowning man and expecting him to get on with his own rescue.

MiniTheMinx Wed 02-Jan-13 12:16:04

Being "good" and being "deluded" are not incompatible as IDS proves. I think, he really believes his own moral arguments about rescuing the poor from their immoral idleness. _Of course he is wrong, he is using the language of culture and religion to explain an economic phenomena_ The man's a prat but evil he isn't. To be evil would imply that he was acting out of malice.....he isn't. Cameron and Osborne are a different story, privileged white men who believe they are "born" to rule and they are the epitome of everything that is wrong in a class society where they know exactly what needs to be done to protect their own class interests. IDS is one of the co-opted, not one of them. It can be seen fairly clearly in Osborne and Cameron's (feudal society) rather ambivalent attitude towards business and taxation. There is a dichotomy btw wanting to protect their own class interest, wanting to attack the capitalist class but realising that their position now relies upon the capitalist class. Wanting to reform tax and collect corporate tax, effects their wealth indirectly more than directly. The relationship btw old Tories (of the upper classes) and business is not an easy one.

niceguy2 Wed 02-Jan-13 12:46:24

I agree that tax credits do not subsidise people who claim them, they subsidise businesses;

I think it does both. It's allowed many people to work less hours than they otherwise would have. It's stopped many from working extra hours and yes businesses have benefitted because they can now find many willing employees to work part time whereas before they wouldn't have had the applicants thus forcing them to offer full time hours to fill the vacancy.

Case in point is my friend who has been offered more hours but has worked out that financially it's not worth it because of tax credits. From what I've read, she's far from alone.

Xenia Wed 02-Jan-13 12:52:04

And that is not very fair on those of us who work very long hours and many weeks a year to subsidise part time workers in idleness.

MiniTheMinx Wed 02-Jan-13 13:40:14

To be fair though Xenia, you might add that your full time employment pays far more than would your part time employment plus tax credits. I thought that there was some sort of taper so that employment at extra hours would always ensure you were slightly better off. However I guess once you take into account other factors such as increased transport costs, lunches, child care, having to budget for time saving crap fast food !! etc, it hasn't always paid for lower waged workers to increase their hours.

Xenia Wed 02-Jan-13 14:15:45

Yes, I am over that cusp but not everyone is. A woman on £50k with no help from her child's father pays £14k tax, £14k one child full time nursery place and about £14k mortgage on £150k loan. She is about the same as someone on benefits. The only answers are ensure life on benefits is much less easy and introduce workfare too and of course the working single mother may hope to earn more than £50k eventually, after 30 years might own her property and finally once her child is at school will have a lower childcare cost.

I think sexism is often at the heart of it - women brought up to be servants and cleaners serving male needs at home, conditioned to think they will earn only pin money whilst men earn the bigger bucks and men forcing them into a ghetto of lower paid work. I was asking someone about this yesterday - whey did his ex wife never work (she had a good degree). He thinks on balance she was lazy and she preferred to stay at home for 15 years. Now of course in relatively poverty post divorce they pay the price for such stupid and sexist decisions.

picketywick Wed 02-Jan-13 15:55:50

Aenia You have said previous "There is not a lot of work about"

And £50 is a vast difference to an unemployed single person getting 70 quid a week to live on.

I suspect half of the working population cant imagine what 50k a year looks like. (It will seem mickey mouse money to many of them)

The inequalities in our countery our like fanance gone mad. I suppose tax credits were an attempt to give poorly paid workers a living wage.

We must not talk about solving problems That is not one of the options.
We should think in terms of improving things for those at the bottom

Those at the top seem to have a great deal more than a fair deal.

And Tory governments using the word FAIRENESS is like a ferret opening a rest home for rabbits

picketywick Wed 02-Jan-13 15:56:44

I meant 50K in the second para.

Xenia Wed 02-Jan-13 17:11:47

Wait do the sums.
£50k - you pay £14k tax. so yo are left with £36,000.
You work full time. The full time nursery place just for one child is £14,000 That leaves you with £22,000 which is about the maximum housing benefit these days.

£14k is the mortgage on a £150k loan.

That leaves you with £8000
Then you pay your work travel costs and for a few skirts and probably babysitting the nights you work late.
Total £2000? Might well be even higher.
Say leaves £6000 net. hich is £115 a week.

So a benefits claimant may well have the same cash left each week as the single mother on £50k working full time.

The benefits claimant meanwhile does not a stroke of work has council tax benefit and free school meals and free prescriptions.

of course if you earn £60k or £80k then you will be better off and long term even on £50k you will be better off as you won't have childcare costs and in 30 years you may own your house outright.

pointedlynoresolutions Wed 02-Jan-13 18:36:32

Xenia since you seem to like doing the sums - can you do them for a cleaner working full time for NMW - who will be getting some benefits? And then can you make the moral argument that people like this, who do essential work that someone has to do, should not get help to reach an acceptable standard of living? That to my mind is the biggest problem with IDS - he seems to believe that if someone does not earn a high wage, that is somehow their fault for not trying harder/not having done well in school/whatever.

There will always be people who do the shit jobs - I hope you are not advocating that we should accept cutting their already low incomes further?

And £50k is somewhere in the region of the top 15% of incomes - a pipe dream for most people. DH and I earn a smidge over that between us, both working full time, and that means we don't have to work stupid hours and never see our children - for a single person to earn that kind of money means working insane hours, which takes its toll on family life. It is not reasonable to blame people for wanting some sort of work-life balance, especially in a time where the pay differential between the top and bottom in a company is larger than it has ever been.

niceguy2 Wed 02-Jan-13 19:30:36

It's pointless doing the sums for hypothetical situations to fit your argument. You'll always find an example which 'proves' £50k isn't a lot and someone will come along with another example which 'proves' it is.

The simple fact of the matter is that this is a free market country. And as such wages are based upon what people are willing to work for. So it's not the government's fault or responsibility if a person is working NMW cleaning toilets. If they WANT a better job then they are responsible for making that happen. It's not up to the employer or the government to pay them the salary they think they should earn.

What's happened is tax credits have tilted the playing field towards part time workers which has benefited employers and of course the part time workers. Those who have lost out are the taxpayers who are working full time and those now looking for full time work but cannot find it.

Xenia Wed 02-Jan-13 20:07:41

I don't think life is about what is reasonable. There is no money for the benefits system we have had whether people like it or not and whatever their moral or political position.

I never blame anyone for choosing not to work if work does not pay. Nor do I blame anyone for spreading income between husband and wife to reduce tax - tax avoidance. Tax avoidance is fine too. As long as you obey the law you should not be castigated.

What needs to change is the law to make work play and IDS is trying to do this. Whether it will work remains to be seen. I think the aim is to try to make more people work full time and be better off if they work full time. That obviously feels a lot fairer for those of us who have worked for 30 years full time whilst having babies.

"Xenia since you seem to like doing the sums - can you do them for a cleaner working full time for NMW - who will be getting some benefits? And then can you make the moral argument that people like this, who do essential work that someone has to do, should not get help to reach an acceptable standard of living? That to my mind is the biggest problem with IDS - he seems to believe that if someone does not earn a high wage, that is somehow their fault for not trying harder/not having done well in school/whatever."

I don't think you can say IDS has ever said he blames people who earn low wages ever. In fact I have heard him on the radio saying most people are out of work for about a year and then find work again (which is true) and the aim is to have a safety net for them. You might disagree with his policies but I don't think he has some cunning plan deliberately to damage the poor but he does want to make work pay as do most people in the UK. In fact you could say his plan is rubbish as it is going to cost so much money which we simply do not have and instead they need much more radical cuts but none of the parties are prepared to make proper cuts sadly .

If you are a free market person and we remove the minimum wage there will come a floor point below which no one will do the work and that is what helps the low paid not making them all benefits claimants getting housing benefit and tax credits. Therein has lied our folly the price for which we now pay. We never let the free market prevail and look at the mess it got us into.

"If you are a free market person and we remove the minimum wage there will come a floor point below which no one will do the work and that is what helps the low paid"

Ah yes, because that worked well before the NMW was introduced.

Jellykat Wed 02-Jan-13 20:16:33

Someone has to clean the toilets, and fair play to them for doing the part time job as opposed to sitting on their arse all day.
There's another way of looking at the part time worker situation - sometimes its all you can get! Not every available job is based on full time hours.
For the vast majority, part time is better then nothing, it's a possible way in, some experience to plop on your CV, etc plus for many lone parents it fits in with school hours, and don't offer up 'after school' clubs etc, around here they don't exist.

Tax Credits are essential for topping up, however when UC comes in, part time workers won't qualify unless they happen to find other part time work which fits in with an existing job, and lets face it, that's quite unlikely! Especially as travelling to and from all these bits of part time work won't be taken into account either.

Think of all the part time workers - office cleaners, pub staff, waiters, school lunch hour supervisors, retail staff etc, a lot of those workers will be up shit creek when UC comes in, and if they have to leave existing work because it means they no longer qualify for benefits, 1000s of full time opportunities will not miraculously appear for them.

Fuck, didn't realise part time workers wont qualify for UC. I was hoping to get back to work, but doubt I could manage full time work just yet without ending up unable to move again. sad I figured it'd make more sense to ease myself back in to work, baby steps and all that, and give my body a chance. I can hardly afford to get less money, we barely break even every month as it is.

pointedlynoresolutions Wed 02-Jan-13 20:29:40

We never let the free market prevail and look at the mess it got us into.

Right - the free market that works so well in the US, the free market that works so fabulously in countries like India where they have a space programme but also an enormous proportion of starving people.

Pure free market economics do not work, because people are greedy and selfish.
Pure communism does not work, because people are greedy and selfish.
Any ideology followed through to its purest forms brings about unacceptable human misery. We need a strong economy to rein in the potential excesses of the state, and we need a strong state to rein in the potential excesses of business. Where the balance lies is a matter of trial and error - I think the Scandinavian economies have it about right, and yes, I do know that they are a lot more market driven than people give them credit for.

Minimammoth Wed 02-Jan-13 20:38:14

This may not be the theme of this thread, but it seems a good place to express concern about people being assessed as fit for work who are clearly not, in some cases downright lies are being put onto the assessment forms. Appeals are complex and require mental toughness and a computer. There may be no money for benefits, but how are these people expected to live? There are no jobs for able bodied, never mind those who are weaker. As the original post said the dead don't claim benefits. Many are committing suicide. I bloody hate this government.
Rant over.

ssd Wed 02-Jan-13 20:41:37

niceguy, this just isnt true

"Case in point is my friend who has been offered more hours but has worked out that financially it's not worth it because of tax credits. From what I've read, she's far from alone"

I earn minimum wage and get tax credits...if I earn another £6.19 an hour I lose £2 in tax credits.....so I still gain by £4.....

so all this getting tax credits encourages people to work less hours is nonsense

working more hours is always worth it even if you get tax credits

edam Wed 02-Jan-13 20:43:08

Quite, Mini. Killing people off is a. incredibly cruel and b. economically self-defeating as well. You end up with widows/orphans who struggle.

Ian Duncan Smith was dumped as Tory leader because he was crap. Yet somehow he's now posing as the new messiah? Also a bit rich for MPs to start lecturing the poor about morality - these would be the same MPs who had their snouts in the trough for decades...

edam Wed 02-Jan-13 20:44:32

The main slice of the benefits bill goes on the elderly. Oddly enough government ministers never attack the elderly in public... could that possibly be because the elderly are more likely to vote than the young? hmm

ssd Wed 02-Jan-13 20:44:50

who says part time workers wont qualify for UC

Minimammoth Wed 02-Jan-13 20:46:45

Well we've got food banks it'll be the workhouse next.

MiniTheMinx Wed 02-Jan-13 20:57:26

I agree that the impoverished state can not afford to continue subsidising the private sector through benefits to workers. There has been a problem with a minority of people actively choosing part time over full time. But people forget the effect of women entering the work force, (I work, so don't think I advocate that women shouldn't work)

What interests me most is why the state is so impoverished. There is a link between unfettered capitalism and the need to shrink the state. Which came first? Was there an intention to impoverish the state and strip away welfare and to what end?

MiniTheMinx Wed 02-Jan-13 21:00:53

Yes Edam, it's socialism all round for Mps bankers and corporate leaches !

Xenia Wed 02-Jan-13 21:05:20

The country is impoverished because it massive increased spending in the last 10 years much more than ever in its entire history. Labour did that. They killed the nation in a sense. They went on a spend spend spend like a lottery winner but without the winnings to back them up.

MiniTheMinx Wed 02-Jan-13 21:07:29

Stats please, lets have some evidence. It's not just spending though is it, one has to watch carefully what they have coming in smile

Xenia Wed 02-Jan-13 21:27:08
edam Wed 02-Jan-13 21:57:27

His attempts to make people panic into taking out a subscription make Sarah Palin and the Tea Party fanatics sound calm and measured. Claiming the rot set in with Llloyd George and the introduction of pensions - yeah, because the world was a much better place when elderly people too frail to work ended up in the workhouse... hmm It's hardly news that there is a financial crisis, that the deregulation of financial markets and the bankers' trick of slicing and repackaging and selling on debts was a disaster.

What we should do is look at Sweden - where they had their banking crisis something like two decades ago and survived by taking a long hard look at their society. The social contract in Sweden, the shared parental leave and good childcare didn't happen by accident. When the banks fucked up, voters and taxpayers said, right, if we've got to sort this mess out, let's build a better society that works for all of us. We need that to happen here.

ShouldStickToLurking Wed 02-Jan-13 22:13:35

Yes Edam it's interesting there's no mention of Sweden in the article, or Iceland either for that matter, who slammed all the bankers responsbile for such henious irresponsibility in jail and started again for the better.

edam Wed 02-Jan-13 22:16:22

Indeed - there are choices to be made about how we respond to the crisis. So far our government (both Brown and Cameron) have let the chief wrongdoers off the hook, in the hope that we can revert to business as usual. When what we need is root and branch reform - what kind of society and economy do we want?

ShouldStickToLurking Wed 02-Jan-13 22:41:30

Well, clearly not the kind where solutions to the world's financial crisis are sold by subscription, for a start!

niceguy2 Wed 02-Jan-13 22:47:23

@SSD. Once you take into account the additional money she'd have had to spend on childcare, travelling to/from work etc. Yes she would still technically earn a bit more. But in practice there comes a point where you think "Meh, it's not worth the aggro"

Admittedly it used to be worse before Labour upped the income disregard to £25k but to me that just shows how stupid the entire TC system is.

I've no doubts that UC won't be perfect. All I'm hoping for is that overall it will be fairer to the vast majority of claimants.

MiniTheMinx Wed 02-Jan-13 22:55:38

Thank you Xenia, I would like to take each one of the points on in order because I haven't got time to really formulate anything else (I'm trying to work grin)

If you look at the first graph, you'll see that that from 1900-1915 it shows no debt, war 1914-1918, we borrowed money. Then we had a stock market crash and crisis, but look at the years 1920-1940, you see that the debt hasn't increased, Why? you notice that the debt remained constant but did not increase significantly until mid 70's but from 1979 on it climbed rapidly. (what happened in 1979?, look up Volker, Reagan, Thatcher,)

I would also draw your attention to, "When the NHS is sold off and benefits are scrapped" and then the mention of a certain Lobby group by the name of McKinsey "McKinsey Global Institute" does this not make you think??????

www.mckinsey.com/global_locations/europe_and_middleeast/london/en will give you the address of their London Offices, they are the very same people that have been lobbying on behalf of American health care groups and American Health care insurers and have been whispering in the ears of landsley and co since the early 1990's long before Cons came to be in office!

If you look at the graph where it shows public spending, it shows that spending has sky rocketed from mid seventies to present day. Horrifying. However what you have to factor in, is the fact that over that period from the mid 70's something else has happened. That is the gap between what workers have been paid in relation to output in goods and services and the profit they have created for the employers. Basically employers have squeezed greater productivity whilst sharing less in the form of salaries.

I will read the rest of it later but my main conclusion so far

The period of national ownership and big government did not increase government debt (in fact debt to GDP ratio was the healthiest it's ever been ) but after thatcher and volker's shock treatment (to bring down inflation and stop stagflation) and the neo-liberalists pushed their agenda, the state has been robbed. So who stole the money? Did anyone steal the money? which brings me back to "shouldn't we consider also what money we have/had coming in?)

AudrinaWhiteChristmasAdare Wed 02-Jan-13 23:15:17

Have just spoken to my sister and she had her JSA stopped on Christmas Day because of people in the JC not talking to each other. Basically, she couldn't make one appointment, rearranged it, attended, but the system just threw her off.

She is living on child tax credits, child benefit and her rent and council tax are being paid. Currently.

Under Universal Credit one fuck-up will mean that all of this will be suspended. What will people live on? Well there used to be something but not any more.

I have to say though that IDS must be an immensely godly man, curing the 19.5% of sick and disabled people who also no longer need DLA after the 0.5% who had it for fraud and DWP error were sorted out. I am looking forward to him miraculously curing my son of his autism in the near future!

ttosca Thu 03-Jan-13 01:29:04

There are some statistics on this link

Utterly misleading stats.

Absolute debt is not important. A millionaire is better off £1000 in debt than a homeless and jobless person £5000 in debt.

Secondly debt/GDP ratio for the UK is not %500. It's roughly 60-70%:

Your article is complete hysterical propaganda designed to scare people in to accepting cuts to pay for a crisis which they never caused.


Here is a less hysterical discussion:


MiniTheMinx Thu 03-Jan-13 11:04:07

It's not just the stats that are misleading in Xenia's link but the narrative used to explain them.

The article is propaganda against welfare and towards privatisation.

Xenia Thu 03-Jan-13 14:13:16

Most of the article is pretty interesting and then it descends into Buy our Report which is when it's worth losing interesting but a lot of it does remind us of the past. I certainly remember those dreadful days int he 1970s with no power, power cuts, 3 day weeks, country on its knees, inflation 60% over 3 years, people's savings wiped out. That wa s not fun. Highest tax rate was 99% in the UK!

Certainly the left and right both agree we have massive debt most ever and it is a huge huge problem as we can hardly pay the interest on it never mind get it down and we are not about to have decades of huge growth.

ssd Thu 03-Jan-13 18:00:57

niceguy2, its always better to work...what will your friend do all do if she thinks meh, I'll just not bother???? watch day time telly, work cash in hand, get depressed, miss social contact and become isolated??

its always been better to work, if you can, whatever your situation

ssd Thu 03-Jan-13 18:01:21

all day, sorry for typo

ttosca Thu 03-Jan-13 18:09:13


Most of the article is pretty interesting

'Interesting' in the sense of being deliberately misleading and outright mendacious, perhaps.

Certainly the left and right both agree we have massive debt most ever

No they certainly don't. And those on the right who say this are either lying or stupid:


we can hardly pay the interest on it never mind get it down

UK interest payments on debt are at 3% of GDP. That's a high amount, and a huge waste of money which could otherwise be spent on public services, but it is not historically remarkable:


and we are not about to have decades of huge growth.

Certainly not with the Tory scum in power.

Viviennemary Thu 03-Jan-13 18:18:05

I do think tax credits have created a problem. They have allowed rich multi billion pound organisations to pay their workers very poor wages in the knowledge the wages will be topped up by tax credits. Now this is simply not on. And also it penalised people who were quite happy to increase their hours but found out they would lose out a lot financially because their tax credits would be reduced. This isn't good either.

ttosca Thu 03-Jan-13 18:24:06

I do think tax credits have created a problem. They have allowed rich multi billion pound organisations to pay their workers very poor wages in the knowledge the wages will be topped up by tax credits.

You can thank the mentality of people nice 'nice'guy and other neo-liberal ideologues who think we need to suck as much corporate cock as possible in order to 'remain competitive'. Well, this is what you get: subsidized wages.

A better approach would, of course, to raise the minimum wage to a living wage, so that people could afford to live while working and not get tax credits. This would cost the taxpayer less, too.

Unfortunately, this shifts the burden from the tax payer to the corporation, and with the current dominance of neo-liberal economic policies, is less likely to happen.

MiniTheMinx Thu 03-Jan-13 20:57:16

This is what neo-liberal policy has created

"As a result of neoliberal globalization, the income gap between the fifth of the world’s people living in the richest countries and the fifth in the poorest has widened significantly, moving from 44:1 in 1980 to 74:1 in 1997. Today, as a consequence of these policies, the richest 358 people on earth have the same wealth as the poorest 45% of the world’s population, or 2.3 billion people. Even more shocking, the top 3 billionaires have the same wealth as all of the Lowest Developed Countries put together, or 600 million people.These statistics flag a massive transfer of wealth and resources from poor countries to rich countries, and from poor individuals to rich individuals. Today, the wealthiest 1% of the world’s population controls 40% of the world’s wealth, the wealthiest 10% control 85% of the world’s wealth, and the bottom 50% control a mere 1% of the world’s wealth"


For Xenia and Niceguy to have a read smile Xenia, it explains WHY we had inflation in the 70's and guess what it had nothing to do with workers receiving better pay and everything to do with the American's trying to pay down their war debt, and we all know how the neo-libbers love a good war.

It's not hard to see how people have been won over, it was always going to be about winning people over wasn't is Thatcher that said it was an ideological war and that "there is no such thing as society"

Xenia Fri 04-Jan-13 09:00:34

We have certainly been left a huge mess by the spend spend spend policies of Labour.

We all know the country with one of the biggest wealth gaps is communist China. I think it something like a 1 - 34 ratio compared to about 1 - 5 in the West. Capitalism is the best solution.

MiniTheMinx Fri 04-Jan-13 09:40:28

How can China be said to be communist ? One way might be to point out that they have a planned economy. They are state capitalist, seems to be working very well for China if not the Chinese people. That can not be said of us, nothing is working for us, either at the level of the state or the people. But China can not really be said to be communist. Communism can not sit alongside capitalism either at the level of individual countries or within a global economy. Stalin thought that Russia could be communist in a sea of capitalism, end result was a sort of fascism. (very little distinguishes the two when you consider economic policy under capitalism) I can understand why people look at these examples and fear "communism" I would go as far as saying that there is even a sort of McCarthyism sometimes to be found on the left when people understand the economics but instead adopt a reformist left position. This is because the cultural aspect of neo-liberal theory have sought to leave little room for discussion or difference. It has created cultural hegemony.


niceguy2 Fri 04-Jan-13 10:00:46

I don't pretend that capitalism is the perfect answer. I just see the examples from history and believe it is better than the alternatives. Every country which has tried a communist/ultra left socialist model has ended up broke and resorted to repressing it's citizens to stay in power.

The yardstick I would use is. Would I prefer to be poor in a free market economy such as the UK/France/Germany or would i prefer to be in Cuba/North Korea?

MiniTheMinx Fri 04-Jan-13 10:19:15

Which ultra left states have ended up broke? Under communism it would be impossible to be broke!!! We have never seen communism.

If you look back on history you see that that it is taken up by a struggle between serfs/peasants/working class and ruling class. The yardstick I would use is freedom from not freedom for. ie, freedom from exploitation and struggle as opposed to freedom to exploit. When the serfs rose up or at the time of the French revolution they hadn't already experienced capitalism or living in a republic confused History isn't a mish mash of chaotic events unrelated. We make history happen, we do so now.

niceguy2 Fri 04-Jan-13 11:11:51

So what you are saying Mini is that North Korea, Cuba, the old USSR and the old China failed not because of communism but because they were not communist enough?

MiniTheMinx Fri 04-Jan-13 12:00:57

No they can't have had communism because communism can not exist either alongside or in capitalism.

Xenia Fri 04-Jan-13 12:19:22

There is certainly an argument that we have never had a pure communist state.

Secondly there is an argument that we have never let the free market rein. Neither side has ever really been able to test out their theories.

pointedlynoresolutions Fri 04-Jan-13 18:28:16

I think letting either side test out their theories is very dangerous and unethical...

If I'm going to be poor, can I be poor in Sweden or Denmark?

I wouldn't classify north Korea as communist, Karl Marx would turn in his grave if he could see what goes on there. If states can be psychotic, North Korea is.

I still think that the Scandinavian model is one worth striving for, it seems to have struck the balance between a strong state and a strong private sector.

ssd Fri 04-Jan-13 23:06:58

thank god for tax credits

my employer will still pay me £6.19 an hour whether I get tax credits or not, they couldn't care less how much I get so long as they don't need to up my wages by a penny

getting rid of tax credits will only hurt people like me, the employers wont pay any more, they don't want to and its not in their best interests

if I leave they'll just get someone else, people on mw are disposable to employers

picketywick Tue 08-Jan-13 12:02:49

Daft to put an ex army officer like IDS in charge of welfare. They know more about fighting wars

Jux Tue 08-Jan-13 12:54:52

My experience of ex-army officers is that they will follow the brief. If that is true of IDS, then his brief was, first and foremost, to balance the books. If his primary objective had been fairness to the vulnerable, less fortunate etc, then we'd be getting something very different from him.

niceguy2 Tue 08-Jan-13 14:28:48

ssd, the problem that tax credits enables you to work for £6.19 an hour. And if you won't work they will get someone else who will also be on tax credits. In effect it's become a subsidy for business. But imagine if there was no such thing (or something only very few could get). All of a sudden the employer will find they can't get someone at £6.19 an hour so they'd have to either up the wage or not employ anyone.

Yes tax credits help you each month but it's also part of the problem too.

Jux, I don't think that's fair. If IDS's brief was to first & foremost to balance the books then he wouldn't have suggested Universal Credit. It would be far simpler to simply slash benefits as they are rather than spend the hundreds of millions, if not a few billion getting UC off the ground. Not to mention the political costs if (like most govt projects) it falls over on its arse the first few months it goes live.

When people talk about fairness, it's nice to see at last some consideration towards those who are actually net contributors to the state. For too long this group have been ignored and any questions as to why we have to pay yet more taxes has been shouted down alleging we don't care about the poor & vulnerable.

It can't be fair can it when most employees are not getting a payrise or at best a sub-inflation payrise that we have to pay more taxes so that those on benefits can have a bigger rise?

Oh, come on!

First, part time work is not "idleness." At the very least, it is a damned job - probably the only damned job available for many people. Secondly, what you also have to factor in is that the majority of part time workers are women and a large proportion of these act as carers for relatives or friends when not working; again, very far from "idleness." Thirdly, just because someone is in a part time or low paid job does not mean they are stupid or undeserving; if you are an highly paid and highly qualified whatever, you are still going to come across people cleaning, emptying bins or stacking shelves who are more intelligent and hard working than you are, they just never had the opportunity or had too many responsibilities to others to get the career they deserved.

I do not have faith in this government's ability to run the economy. Despite what Tory spokespeople say, benefit cuts don't raise money but, at best, might save some. Plus Gidiot (thanks to whoever came up with that name!) is no more qualified to be Chancellor than the average person off the street. He has neither qualifactions nor career background in economics and this is painfully highlighted in his embarassingly ignorant budget statements that have resulted in so many U turns, as well as policies that have gone through despite having no logical thought behind them such as the child benefit reforms. Cameron's defence of him is "He stayed in my shadow cabinet not because he is a friend, not because we are godfathers to each other's children but because he is the right person to do the job." Seems to me like it is the friendship and godfather bits that keep him in the job.

niceguy2 Tue 08-Jan-13 22:28:31

Personally I'm not a big fan of Cameron & Osbourne either. I don't think they truly understand the average family struggling to make ends meet at all.

But given the alternative, does anyone think Prime minister Ed Miliband & Chancellor Ed Balls would do any better at all? No. It's really a case of the least worse choice at the moment.

picketywick Wed 09-Jan-13 11:28:49

The "nasty" tory party is still with us. Robbing the poor; and giving more money to the rich.

niceguy2 Wed 09-Jan-13 12:46:02

Interesting choice of words. Robbing. That would imply the money belonged to the 'poor' and has been forcibly taken and given to the rich. Nothing of the sort has happened. What is in fact happening is that less money is being given to the poor and instead the money saved is simply not being borrowed.

The 'rich' are still getting hammered and pay the vast majority of taxes.

ttosca Wed 09-Jan-13 13:48:41

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

ttosca Wed 09-Jan-13 13:49:54

> The 'rich' are still getting hammered and pay the vast majority of taxes.

The rich are not getting hammered. If they were getting hammered, the UK wouldn't have the same wealth inequality as Nigeria, and the same level of wealth inequality which it had in the 1920s.

The rich are doing very well, thank you very much. They don't need your support.

ttosca Wed 09-Jan-13 13:51:29

> Interesting choice of words. Robbing. That would imply the money belonged to the 'poor' and has been forcibly taken and given to the rich.

And actually, this is exactly what is happening, as taxes are subsidizing corporations in the form of handouts, bailouts, and tax credits which pay for wage bills.

niceguy2 Wed 09-Jan-13 14:11:14

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

Darkesteyes Wed 09-Jan-13 18:06:40

> ssd, the problem that tax credits enables you to work for £6.19 an hour. And if you won't work they will get someone else who will also be on tax credits. In effect it's become a subsidy for business. But imagine if there was no such thing (or something only very few could get). All of a sudden the employer will find they can't get someone at £6.19 an hour so they'd have to either up the wage or not employ anyone.

Yes that would be why (in the 90s before working tax credits were applied to people without children) there were jobs advertised in the Job Centre for £50 pounds a week (at that time my rent alone was £48 a week) and 50p an hour. I can see this happening again.

picketywick Thu 10-Jan-13 12:01:51

I thought the Liverpool Pathway problem had been solved. Clearly not. The NHS/governemnt need to be more candid about death in hospitals

alreadytaken Fri 11-Jan-13 10:45:23

haven't read the thread but I liked the OP and was looking for somewhere to post a link to this story about MP's wanting a 35% salry increase and to keep final salary pensions www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-20978487. You couldn't make this up!

miggmugg Sun 07-Apr-13 05:16:45

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

ttosca Mon 08-Apr-13 01:01:44

We're not allowed to question whether Iain Duncan Smith shat himself on Question Time, MN?

Have you received a complaint from him?

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