I wonder what the real reason is behind welfare reform?

(138 Posts)

Welfare (pensions, OOW benefits etc) and the NHS are paid for solely by NI contributions. The government is not allowed to touch this money but it may borrow from any surplus; the yearly surplus is around £2bn.

The coalition rhetoric of "taxpayers are sick of seeing blinds closed when they go out to work" and all the other rubbish they spout is either ignorant stupidity or malevolent divisiveness, because tax has nothing to do with it.

NI contributions may not be used for any other purpose than welfare, so why does the government want to cut benefits and introduce private pensions for everybody? Gideon Osborne spoke in 2011 of possibly combining tax and NI. This would give him access to a huge pool of money that is specifically earmarked, by Statute, for healthcare and welfare - he would want to use it for other purposes.

Tax credits, on the other hand, do come out of the tax budget; however this money doesn't subsidise poorly paid workers, it arguably subsidises businesses so they do not have to pay a living wage.

Basically, I don't see how the government can legally include the welfare budget in its programme of cuts. There may be an argument for making the welfare system more efficient but any cuts or changes would not affect the government's budget.

StormyBrid Mon 01-Apr-13 08:25:33

Real reason? Dismantling the welfare system. Or at least leaving it in such a godawful mess by 2015 that the next government doesn't even know where to start on sorting it out.

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Mon 01-Apr-13 08:29:53

Its idealogical.

The Tories don't believe in a Welfare state, or indeed any state provided services. The Tories are into capitalism and market forces, anything else smacks of socialism.

They are doing it because they can, and because it is playing out their vision.

Probably, but it's not theirs to dismantle!

<btw, are you the woman with the 5 week old dd on the food stamp thread the other day? If you are, then congratulations>

the baby part was to Stormybid - x posts smile

AuntieStella Mon 01-Apr-13 08:39:10

Can you source the figures which show that NI is "in surplus"?

I've seen this claim made on a number of websites, but no evidence to support it (will try to find the again the only authoritative link ever quoted, but that shows no surplus).

Indeed, given the scale of total Government deficit, and the level of welfare spending as a proportion of total Governement spending (pensions, remember, which are rising rapidly), it's obvious the Governement (whichever party in power) doesn't have the money to continue the welfare state int he form it was left in 2010.

AuntieStella Mon 01-Apr-13 08:40:29

Overspending?

Real reason? Not caring about the welfare system. Or at least leaving it in such a godawful, unaffordable mess by 2010 that the incoming government doesn't even know where to start on sorting it out.

To make the poor, poorer so they can swig more whisky and smoke more cigars. Because of course we poor must not eat, smoke, drink, keep warm or live.
It's because the Conservatives are prejudice, infact they are even picking on the disabled now as well as the poor.
It will not save much cash, as not a lot was given to most to begin with unless you lived in a mansion with a hook.

To claw back money, they need to focus on tax avoidance, as there is so much lost from that than anything else.

He has us all fighting against each other by creating a media propaganda, that makes anyone on benefits look well off by using the worst example and showing the bad parts of the nhs to ruse people into the private care idea.
The thing is most of us are not stupid and see through most of his nonsense and he will find him and his Robbing Hood party out on their ear in the next election.

Having been part of a working family and a non-working family just recently due to redundancy, i can assure you, allow greatful for benefits it's hardly cushy. My dh is desperate to get back into work but doesn't even get an interview 99 percent of the time. Yet according to this government we are classed as shirkers as my dh isn't working, yet its through no fault of his own that he isn't.

I think the Conservatives could do with living of benefits for a month and see how they like it. Then they can shit their pants about what's going to happen on Uc

I meant the conservatives can drink more and smoke cigars!

AuntieStella Mon 01-Apr-13 08:49:57

from the Government Actuarial Department.

NI receipts 2011-2012 £81,874m
NI payments £85,869m

So not "in surplus" - in deficit by about £4,000m

skinnywitch Mon 01-Apr-13 12:37:11

Or at least leaving it in such a godawful, unaffordable mess by 2010 that the incoming government doesn't even know where to start on sorting it out.

So, a bit like Labour left the economy?

niceguy2 Mon 01-Apr-13 15:32:51

Welfare (pensions, OOW benefits etc) and the NHS are paid for solely by NI contributions.

No...they are SUPPOSED to be paid for out of NI contributions but that stopped being the reality decades ago.

NIC for 2011-2012 was around £100billion.

DWP budget for 2011-2012 was £169 billion.
NHS budget 2011-2013 was £104 billion.

So in summary

So not even close to a £2 billion surplus. I can't see how anyone living on the same planet could even come close to that figure.

infamouspoo Mon 01-Apr-13 16:07:00

the Tories voted against the setting up of the welfare state back in the 40's. They have always been ideologically opposed.

caramelwaffle Mon 01-Apr-13 16:11:40

Ideological opposition.

CogitoErgoSometimes Mon 01-Apr-13 17:21:56

The NHS etc isn't paid for solely by NI contributions.

flatpackhamster Mon 01-Apr-13 18:45:12

ItsAllGoingToBeFine

Its idealogical.

The Tories don't believe in a Welfare state, or indeed any state provided services. The Tories are into capitalism and market forces, anything else smacks of socialism.

infamouspoo

the Tories voted against the setting up of the welfare state back in the 40's. They have always been ideologically opposed.

caramelwaffle

Ideological opposition.

What's your stance if not ideological?

longfingernails Mon 01-Apr-13 20:25:25

Welfare reform is one of the deepest moral issues of our time.

Apart from the disabled and their carers, the very worst thing you can do for someone out of work is to give them a long-term source of money. The most moral path is:
1) cut taxes, cut red tape, cut public debt, cut employment legislation, cut public spending, weaken unions, invest in transport, invest in universities and apprenticeships. All this creates a dynamic society full of opportunity, aspiration and innovation;
2) make the welfare system fully contributory after 3 months out of work (so benefits can continue to be paid to those who have paid into the system their whole life, but not to those who choose a benefits lifestyle).
3) reduce non-skilled migration to zero

The reason that the Guardian/BBC chatterati are so vexed by this is that they know public opinion is very much behind welfare reform. And it is most popular amongst "Thatcher's Tories" - precisely the swing voters who decide general elections. In general, these voters (of which I am one) may be turning to UKIP in droves because of Cameron's wetness, Osborne's incompetence, and their collective high-handed dismissal of blue collar conservatism - but on this particular issue, the government's stance resonates, and very deeply so.

As usual, the Guardian, the BBC, MN and the rest of the bien-pensant chatterati will caricature the changes as being born of cruel intentions.

Yes, there is an issue of basic fairness for the contributors - nobody on welfare should live a lifestyle that those in work cannot afford - and if people in work are part of the welfare state in the first place, then something has gone wrong. By raising income tax thresholds we reduce the need for complicated take-and-give-back systems.

Yes, there is a political expediency element - reducing the number of people who depend on State largesse reduces Labour's grip. And it's always politically useful when a policy is so popular.

However, the central argument runs far deeper. Reforming welfare is the best thing (over the medium to long term) for the recipients themselves. It is precisely because we believe so deeply in the moral justness of our cause that we small-c conservatives clamour for welfare reform with such fervour.

That said, it is a pity that the reform is so weak. And also, the details are extremely important - and I'm not sure that the details have been gotten completely right.

Nevertheless, Polly is correct when she says that Britain has indeed changed markedly today. Where she is wrong is that she does not understand that today, our country has changed markedly for the better.

skinnywitch Mon 01-Apr-13 20:33:39

longfingernails - brilliant post and one with which I agree entirely!

ttosca Mon 01-Apr-13 21:17:08

> Or at least leaving it in such a godawful, unaffordable mess by 2010 that the incoming government doesn't even know where to start on sorting it out.

> So, a bit like Labour left the economy?

No, not like that at all. It was the financial crisis which put us in to this current situation, not govt. spending on schools and hospitals. Try again.

MoreBeta Mon 01-Apr-13 21:23:41

longfingernails - you saved me a job there. Very good post.

I too am considering turning to UKIP for exacly the reasons you state.

ttosca Mon 01-Apr-13 21:28:30

longfingernails-

There is so much bullshit in your post, you should be ashamed of yourself.

I was going to rebut each paragraph point by point, but I just came across this, which will save me the trouble:

---

”How to wage a war upon the poor.

Probably the most disgusting thing about this coalition has been their propaganda war against the most disadvantaged people in society. By the deliberate spreading of lies, they have facilitated a systematic assault upon the poor, the sick and the disabled. And they have knowingly misled the public for one simple reason, to enable them to totally dismantle the welfare state.

There are lies, damned lies, and then there are lying Tory bastards.

The welfare state has led to a ‘something for nothing’ culture?

It may be utterly repugnant to hear millionaire politicians who have never worked a day in their life telling us that they are ending the ‘something for nothing culture’, but it’s also utter bollocks. Only 2.5% of the total welfare budget of £200 billion actually goes on unemployment, whilst the vast majority of unemployed claimants have worked, and paid taxes, for years and are now on benefits due to redundancy, sickness, disability or having to care for someone. Millions more are receiving benefits due to poverty wages. The Welfare state is actually a massive state subsidy to business which enables it to pay poverty wages and charge exorbitant rents.

Living on benefits is a lifestyle choice?

Only 0.1% of benefit claimants who have claimed for 10 years or more are actually unemployed. Less than 5,000 people, out of over 9 million 16-64 year olds who don’t work, have been on Job Seekers Allowance for more than 5 years. Less than 0.1% of the 20 million working age households have 2 generations that have never had a permanent job. Despite strenuous efforts, researchers have been unable to find any families where three generations have never worked.

People won’t work because benefits are too high?

In 1971, JSA equalled 20.9% of the average wage. Today, it is worth 10.9%. These people are living in poverty. There are 8.5 million people receiving benefits in this country. There are more people IN WORK who get benefits than not working. The majority of all housing benefit claimants are IN WORK. 6.1 million people classed as living in poverty are from households IN WORK.

People on housing benefit live in mansions?

Our newspapers continuously bombard us with these stories. There are around five million claimants of Housing Benefit; of which there were five families who received over £100,000 per year, all living in central London. The average award of Housing Benefit is approximately £85 a week. Only 3% of families received more than £10,000 a year support, and 0.04% received more than £30,000 a year. And no-one ever mentions that housing benefit goes straight to the Landlord and not the claimant.
And those large families screwing the taxpayer? There are around 130 families with 10 children and only 10 families with 12 children IN THE WHOLE COUNTRY who are on benefits.

Benefit cheats are bankrupting the country?

Benefit fraud amounts to about £1.5 billion a year, less than 1% of the entire budget. To put this in perspective, the bank bailout equalled 1,000 years of benefit fraud. Meanwhile, £1.3 billion gets underpaid each year and a further £16 billion goes UNCLAIMED every year.

We can no longer afford the welfare state?

So who is really bankrupting the country? Well, the richest 1,000 people now possess £414 billion between them, a sum more than three times the size of the entire UK budget deficit. The richest 1% of the population are estimated to possess wealth of about £1 trillion. The richest 10% control wealth of about £4 trillion. The Quantitative Easing programme has increased the personal wealth of the UK’s richest 20% by enough to pay for Job Seeker’s Allowance for the next 100 years.

The people of this country are being shafted, but instead of the blame being directed at the real culprits, the rich, it is being aimed at the most vulnerable, the poor, with our own Government shamelessly leading the way.

And every one who believes their bullshit should hang their heads in shame.”

There’s a storm coming…

skinnywitch Mon 01-Apr-13 21:55:37

There’s a storm coming…

Unlikely if the turnout for the anti bedroom tax marches are anything to go by! grin

happyAvocado Mon 01-Apr-13 22:24:40

I think al depends how p***d off people who care will become and how soon they organise themselves

ttsca, brilliant post. All what you have said is the real truth.

The tories are liars and the newspapers & tv have bought into all their shite to spread lies and make money from it.
Like ttsca says their are only 5 people in the whole country that have a mansion paid for by the state, just 5, but because people see this on tv they think it is the norm and assume all people on benefits are spongers.

Same goes for the misnomer that people live cushty lifes on benefits, no they don't, they get by.
But of course because the newspapers highlight one woman with 10 kids, again its leads people to believe all people on benefits are getting hundreds of thousands a year.

Ignore the papers/tv and get real fgs.
Jobseekers is around £53 a wk pp or £110 per couple. Rent is paid but not all, most people pay top-ups, then they have bedroom tax taken from their rent allowance and now council tax payments.
People without child live on the money above disallowing rent allowance on its own, that's it £53 a week to food, clothe and pay many bills.

People with children will be getting tax creds they are worth roughly £50 a wk per child and then child benefit which is around £65.
So in reality its dire, trust me.

Child benefit per month

infamouspoo Tue 02-Apr-13 05:58:29

Longfingernails - these reforms are impacting most heavily on disabled people and Carers, the two groups you point out that should be exempted.

As for UKIP with their disablist and racist policies, I'd be terrified if they got in.

Tosca thanks for that brilliant post.

Longfingernails - you are really missing the point that even if welfare is reformed, any money saved will not be able to be used for any other purpose. Conservative ideology does not affect this.

niceguy2 - no, there is a surplus. Auntie Stella's figures are correct, but the money raised by NI is invested to maximise its potential.

Links:
general information about the portfolio www.dmo.gov.uk/index.aspx?page=CRND/CRND_Portfolio/NIFIA
accounting and surplus information www.gad.gov.uk/Documents/Social%20Security/GAD_Report_2012.pdf

There is a lot more information available and I would link to it, but I have to get the baby ready and go to work.

Although in the stats, unemployment is expected to decrease hmm.

Oh, and Gidiot has now raised NI contributions.

skinnywitch Tue 02-Apr-13 07:18:06

90% of the lowest income group smoke.What are people's thoughts on that given fags are £9 a packet? Only 20%of the highest income smoke.

<jumping back on thread before going out>

And your point is?

What other people spend their money on has nothing to do with you, me or anyone else. It also has nothing to do with statutory entitlement to welfare.

If I said 90% of the highest income group buy £20k handbags, what would you say to that? You do realise that people are not accountable to anyone for what they buy don't you?

Please don't use the undeserving poor argument and mind your own business as far as other people's spending is concerned.

(Plus them's some pretty high figures. 90%? Really?)

navada Tue 02-Apr-13 07:48:52

What ever the rights & wrongs, they have got public opinion behind them & they know that.

Tiredandhot Tue 02-Apr-13 07:52:09

Peahentailfeathers have you read the document you link to? If so you would see that the NI fund pays for some (not all) of what are generally considered 'welfare' (eg doesn't cover housing benefit), it certainly doesn't pay for the NHS and is not in surplus. Clearly says receipts last year were £81bn and payments £85bn, and that this is not predicted to move back into in year surplus until around 2016, and the gap will get bigger before then. there is an underlying fund which means that tax receipts are not then drawn on to fund the deficit, this needs to stay above 1/6th of in year payment estimate else tax receipts would be used to top up the fund; ths is not an action predicted to be necessary by the report.

Your opening logic is just wrong: the cuts/benefits caps being introduced will allegedly reduce the overall welfare bill, but largely the elements paid for by tax receipts, eg tax credits and housing benfefits. So that money could be used for any other purpose, initially I suppose the idea is just to reduce the in year overall government spending budget deficit. The idea the the NHS is paid for by NI is nonsense, it costs almost 100bn a year on its own, and was never part of the individual 'insurance' ideology of NI.

For the avoidance of doubt, I do not disagree with most of what ttosca said, am not a coalition supporter nor have any interest in UKIP, and I think most of what they are doing us just ideological, And more to the point I think in making the cuts in the way they have (not just in welfare spending) they are ruining the economy and therefore our collective ability to grow our way out of the deficit, which is ultimately what needs to happen, but I just can't stand it when illogical or wrong information is being touted about as fact.

I agree with the argument that in work benefits just subsidise employers to not pay properly; these should go so that employers are driven to be properly competitive to attract and keep the employees they need. However I would much prefer to see a significant increase in the minimum wage to ensure this, something I doubt this weaselly government would do.

www.guardian.co.uk/news/datablog/2012/dec/04/government-spending-department-2011-12

skinnywitch Tue 02-Apr-13 08:02:21

Of course it's relevant peahen! The whole thrust of this debate is how the poor will suffer under budget cuts. Pointing out that 90% of them are seemingly able to afford to smoke is entirely on topic.

Chipstick10 Tue 02-Apr-13 08:16:35

Well said long fingernails. Lets not forget Blair wanted to tackle welfare but bottled it didn't he! Why is the nhs or welfare untouchable? Labours answer to everything is to just chuck money at the problem and buy a few more votes.

InSearchOfPerfection Tue 02-Apr-13 08:22:21

skinny you are also likely to find that the poorest people are drinking more alcohol or that they use more drugs.

Why do you think it's like this?

Because the poorest people have the hardest life and it's their only way to escape their life and 'relax' a bit.
Smoking is an addiction and the fact more people on low income smoke has little to do with the fact they actually have 'enough money for unncessary things'.

InSearchOfPerfection Tue 02-Apr-13 08:27:44

I have some issue with the fact that the welfare system is put to pieces (which will also NOT be good for the economy as more and more people will NOT have money to spend other than for food. Who will companies be selling their stuff to will be interesting).

But I have even MORE issue with the way budget is then distributed. So with the current plan, some areas like the |North of England who have lower income, poorer health and poorer education outcome will receive LESS money.
It's not just that the poorer will see the 'benefit' cut, it's the fact that actually they will also not receive as much money as the 'more wealthy' people living in the South of Engand.
<Note: I do realize that there are lots of people in the South who are also poor. I am talking about 'big' numbers here>>

EdithWeston Tue 02-Apr-13 08:29:53

Well, posts like OP, which are just plain wrong in terms of the figures will deter the public from opposing the government's plan, for the simple reason that it makes it look as if opposition doesn't add up.

Until there is an alternative programme with accurate figures that add up well enough, then there is no other game in town.

There is no one close to putting forward an alternative. Decrying the current programme isn't enough.

flatpackhamster Tue 02-Apr-13 08:35:59

Peahentailfeathers

What other people spend their money on has nothing to do with you, me or anyone else. It also has nothing to do with statutory entitlement to welfare.

It's not their money. It's been gifted to them by the taxpayer.

If I said 90% of the highest income group buy £20k handbags, what would you say to that? You do realise that people are not accountable to anyone for what they buy don't you?

I'm not paying for that.

Although in the stats, unemployment is expected to decrease hmm.

It has decreased. Bit embarrassing for all the Guardian-reading chicken littles.

InSearchOfPerfection Tue 02-Apr-13 08:45:33

Whether unemployement has decreased or not doesn't matter tbh. What matters is whether there are enough jobs around for all the unemployed people and we all know it's NOT the case.

Even in a time of 'full employement', there will always be a small % of people 'unemployed' as they are between jobs anyway.

And you have to take into account that people leave it until they can't do anything else before they are registered unemployed because the system is treating people so badly AND a lot of them actually WANT to be able to stand on their 2 feet and find a job wo asking for JSA etc.... I know of a lot of people who were unemployed for months before they actually registered for that very reason. How many of them is there all over the country?

As to the fact that 'you don't want pay for that' what can I say? Should people who are unemployed or being so badly paid they are hardly over the breadline being considered a lesser person that have to give a full account on how they spend their money to better people like you --that just happen to earn more money--This is wrong on so many levels......

No, what poor people spend their money on is not relevant. Plus benefits are not paid for by taxes.

Yes, I have read the docuents on the links - I was pushed for time and just linked the first 2 on my browsing history. Wikipedia has an excellent overview though.

Thank you, InSearchOfPerfection, because you've made that point more eloquently than I can. I would also argue that yes, I do pay for what rich people have even if only indirectly by working for them and ensuring that my work results in company gains of several times my salary, from buying goods in their shops or using their services. But I have no say in what the profit is spent on and, unlike the government, I have no vested interest in being divisive. Oh, but that's wrong isn't it, because they're not divisive are they?

Flatpackhamster, I'm not a Guardian reader if that has anything to do with it - I'm a Times woman.

flatpackhamster Tue 02-Apr-13 09:59:35

Peahentailfeathers

No, what poor people spend their money on is not relevant.

If it was their money that they were earning, I'd agree. It's not.

Plus benefits are not paid for by taxes.

NI is a tax. A tax. Tax. TAX.

It's a seperate contribution though and is distinct from income tax.

niceguy2 Tue 02-Apr-13 10:51:03

Once upon a time you could have argued that NI was a separate contribution but given it now doesn't cover even the NHS bill, let alone the welfare bill. I can't see how you can argue it is really separate anymore.

It is separate only in name. In practice it is just another income tax. The sole purpose I can see is to confuse people into thinking that they pay a lower level of tax than they actually do. I honestly think if anyone had to guts to roll it up into a single tax then most people would go mad.

ThePathanKhansAmnesiac Tue 02-Apr-13 10:58:14

Flatpack, you are funny grin.

morethanpotatoprints Tue 02-Apr-13 11:11:15

I think it will be interesting to see who keeps the economy of the high street going. The rich tend to hold on to their money, the workers are paying for childcare and don't have much left after this. I can see far more shops closing, especially those selling none essentials.

Also, it is nobodies business what people spend their money on whether benefit or not.

Of course its their money they are spending, this idea of it being somebody elses is laughable. If you pay tax you are clearly fortunate enough to have a job, when it leaves your salary it is NO LONGER YOURS grin

niceguy2 Tue 02-Apr-13 11:15:38

If you pay tax you are clearly fortunate enough to have a job, when it leaves your salary it is NO LONGER YOURS

It's no longer 'my' money as such. But it doesn't mean I should not be concerned about how much of my money is taken and what it is being spent on. Surely we all want to know what our money is being spent on? I accept we may all have different priorities though.

skinnywitch Tue 02-Apr-13 11:15:59

I absolutely couldn't care less what people spend their cash on.

What I DO care about is them smoking it and then moaning they have to pay a little bit of tax when the rest of us are skinned alive for tax.

skinnywitch Tue 02-Apr-13 11:17:10

Indeed niceguy.

Weren't people most vociferous about the war Tony started , " not in my name" and all that? hmm

flatpackhamster Tue 02-Apr-13 13:23:49

Peahentailfeathers

It's a seperate contribution though and is distinct from income tax.

It's a tax. Tax. Say it with me. Come on. National Insurance is a TAX.

The distinction is irrelevant to people who pay tax. It's just another 12% the government helps itself to. Stop pretending otherwise.

morethanpotatoprints

I think it will be interesting to see who keeps the economy of the high street going. The rich tend to hold on to their money, the workers are paying for childcare and don't have much left after this. I can see far more shops closing, especially those selling none essentials.

I'm afraid you're wrong, both about 'the rich' 'holding on' to their money and which shops are closing down. The upper end are starting to find it tighter but they're still spending. It's the middle area, the people who are just getting by, who are struggling now. Particularly private sector workers who didn't get the pay rises of the public sector during the Labour government. so don't have that cushion to protect them from high inflation.

Of course its their money they are spending, this idea of it being somebody elses is laughable. If you pay tax you are clearly fortunate enough to have a job, when it leaves your salary it is NO LONGER YOURS grin

Well let's work with that for a moment. If that theory is true, then does that apply to my body? Is it mine or the government's? If it's mine, do you think that the government should stop lecturing me on how much I should drink or smoke? Should they scrap Change4Life campaigns and all the other boring bullying that they do about weight, diet and so on? Do you think they should scrap 'sin taxes' on cigarettes and alcohol? Or do you accept that, because I'm consuming scarce public sector resources, that someone other than me has a say over how I treat my body?

Because if you do accept that, then you can't accept that they have no right to limit what people spend their welfare handouts on. The principle is identical.

FucktidiaBollockberry Tue 02-Apr-13 13:27:30

Long term tory vision.

They're not the most successful long-lived political party in the world for nothing.

They stay focused.

Every time they get into power they chip away another little bit of the welfare state.

That's why they don't actually care that all this welfare reform will cost tax payers more - the aim isn't to save money, they're prepared to invest in ensuring that they get rid of what they see as a socialistic-type safety net.

The deficit has just given them the excuse they need to accelerate the destruction of the welfare state and the privatisation of the NHS.

niceguy2 Tue 02-Apr-13 14:32:13

Oh give it a rest. Every major party agrees that the current welfare state is unsustainable. Only the ultra left wing deficit deniers believe that we can go on.

The only real political debate is over how much to cut and where the cuts should happen.

And that is exactly why Labour is so silent on the specifics. If they were in power they'd be making cuts which summed up would pretty much be identical.

The politician's have no choice. It's not political will which is causing the cuts. Clearly it is in a politician's interests to spend money. It's mathematics which is forcing politician's to cut public services and the welfare state, not ideology.

morethanpotatoprints Tue 02-Apr-13 17:43:17

Of course its ideology when the cuts are so that they won't make any bloody difference grin

"Tax payers are sick of seeing blinds closed" So we will play up to them for their vote and declare we are cutting benefit to "make work pay". Now the gullible have bought into this so what we are really going to do is move a few goalposts, give benefit a new name, UC and then take the money from the really needy.

morethanpotatoprints Tue 02-Apr-13 17:52:19

Flatpack

Are you on the same planet. NO government does not have a say in how you treat your body, whether you smoke or drink or are overweight. They and society in general also have no say in how anybody lives, what they spend their remaining money on. Tax payers also have no say in where their tax goes because it isn't their money it belongs to the government. Unless I have missed an important questionnaire they have sent me grin

Timeforabiscuit Tue 02-Apr-13 18:04:51

I think people are approaching this from the wrong angle, lets try this.

How many people is it publicly acceptable to die of want in this country.

Because that's what it boils down to.

morethanpotatoprints Tue 02-Apr-13 18:28:08

Time

Sorry I'm being a bit dim here, what do you mean? Can you spell it out for me please? grin. Do you mean need rather than want as in how many people go without things they need?

Basically, would we be happy to see more homelessness, deprivation and small children going hungry. All of this will be the end result and any person that isn't inhumane doesn't want to see this.
I for one cant see how they can be allowed to give someone less than what's needed to live off as its against the very human rights they harp on about.
People will have a better life in prison when he's finished.

ttosca Tue 02-Apr-13 19:06:34

'nice'guy-

> The politician's have no choice. It's not political will which is causing the cuts. Clearly it is in a politician's interests to spend money. It's mathematics which is forcing politician's to cut public services and the welfare state, not ideology

Don't you ever get tired of crouching your right-wing agenda in terms of economic pragmatism? You were wrong about cutting public spending in the middle of a recession, you didn't even know the difference between debt and deficit, and you are wrong again welfare being cut because it is 'unsustainable'.

Just like the public spending cuts, which are sinking the economy into a spiral of depression, cutting essential support for people in need - apart from being utterly immoral - will not safe money in the long run. Ultimately, the state, and the public, will pay the price - whether its with economy going down the drain, productivity declined from lives lost, an increase in crime for being trying to survive, or whatever else.

> "Forbes compares the bedroom tax to a hurricane hitting Torfaen, with all the attendant disruption to families' health and welfare, and children's schooling. But it is the sheer perversity of the policy that bewilders him: financially it will cost the government more, both in housing benefit payments and dealing with the longer term impacts of family crisis; and it will do absolutely nothing to solve local housing pressures.

He concludes:

It is a policy that has no logic."

www.guardian.co.uk/society/patrick-butler-cuts-blog/2013/jan/16/welfare-reform-bedroom-tax-policy-that-has-no-logic

-------

Oh, and guess what? The 'Queen' just got a £5 Million pound 'payrise':

www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2013/apr/02/queen-gets-5m-payrise-taxpayer

Meanwhile, millionaires just received a £40,000 annual tax break.

No, I don't think the motive here is to save money.

morethanpotatoprints Tue 02-Apr-13 19:07:00

Pumpkin

Unfortunately, I can see you are right. There has been so much spin to get the middle and upper incomes to believe the rubbish they have spouted that these people will be happy to see the poor go without. I don't mean they are inhumane but from the posts on here the majority of middle/ higher income people don't see it. They believe the "feckless and skiver" spin and justify their comments by believing the poor are undeserving.

Timeforabiscuit Tue 02-Apr-13 20:10:23

What I mean is that the welfare state helps to insulate against the worst effects of a recession, people in want of homes, heat, food and sanitation. When you are truly up against it and you make the call between food and fuel - as those on fixed and limited incomes are doing at the moment - you can't absorb any more costs ie council tax.

Hence my question, by imposing these changes on people who cannot afford them, in an economy where little will change in six months you are willing for people to either risk non payment and prison (council tax) or go cold/hungry.

At what level do you think that's acceptable?

At the nth degree people die from lack of these things and next winter we will be there, god help us if we have another bad winter or if basic food stuffs rocket due to the poor weather.

Solopower1 Tue 02-Apr-13 22:12:19

The real reason behind welfare changes (^reforms^?? I don't think so!) is that the government doesn't like helping people. It believes we should help ourselves, be independent.

It believes in survival of the fittest - while at the same time massively tipping the scales in favour of those who already have lots. This is capitalism. Rich people get richer and on the way provide jobs for poorer people, so it all trickles down. Only it doesn't, does it?

Free schools - teach yourselves. DIY healthcare. Get a job or starve. Build your own houses. Localism. Stand on your own two feet. Only you can't because you've just been trodden on by a multinational giant's huge clodhoppers.

Solopower1 Tue 02-Apr-13 22:16:59

So what exactly is government for, if it doesn't want to defend us, provide us with hospitals, pay for a decent police force, educate us, build us houses?

What does it want to spend our taxes on? Helping the banks? Paying its debts? So-called economic 'growth', ie more of the same? We've had the booms, and now we've got the bust. We don't want to go through it all again, do we?

FucktidiaBollockberry Tue 02-Apr-13 22:30:23

"It is a policy that has no logic."

It only has no logic if you believe the point of it is to save money (what the government tells us is the point of it).

If you understand what the real point is - to eventually abolish the welfare state (what they don't tell us because they know we wouldn't tolerate that) then it's perfectly logical.

Solopower1 Tue 02-Apr-13 22:34:18

They can abolish the Welfare State all they like, but they can't abolish the poor. What are they going to do with them?

BeanieStats Tue 02-Apr-13 22:43:50

1. NI is a tax
2. NI is not hypothecated (the UK does not "do" hypothecated taxation), although is typically used to fund some social security benefits, though not the NHS (the budget for which alone is far greater than the amount raised through NICs).
3. It is most definitely not in surplus - £2 billion or otherwise.

Given that the foundation of your argument is flat out wrong why should I take the rest of it seriously?

caramelwaffle Tue 02-Apr-13 22:45:48

"flatpackhamster Mon 01-Apr-13 18:45:12
ItsAllGoingToBeFine

Its idealogical.

The Tories don't believe in a Welfare state, or indeed any state provided services. The Tories are into capitalism and market forces, anything else smacks of socialism.

infamouspoo

the Tories voted against the setting up of the welfare state back in the 40's. They have always been ideologically opposed.

caramelwaffle

Ideological opposition.

What's your stance if not ideological? "

Well, speaking very personally, I am the politicians nightmare; the female, floating voter - who always votes (severe illness excepted)....

...otherwise their job - of getting in - would be very, very easy.

NicholasTeakozy Tue 02-Apr-13 22:51:33

Debunking neoliberals is like shooting fish in a barrel. They all spout the same ill-informed opinions with nary a fact to support them. Their obvious weapons grade hate for those less well off than themselves show how selfish you have to be to get on nowadays.

To say we can't afford to pay benefits is horseshit. All they need to do is remove tax loopholes, collect corporate tax et voila! But the Tories won't do that, as bang would go their backing.

This government is not representing the people, rather they're selling us to their corporate mates. Fuck them and the horse they stole to ride in on.

caramelwaffle Tue 02-Apr-13 23:06:13

A very good question that you raise Solo

claig Tue 02-Apr-13 23:28:01

'They can abolish the Welfare State all they like, but they can't abolish the poor. What are they going to do with them?'

I have watched Newsnight and the news today with Osborne at the warehouse talking to the workers.

I am now convinced that the Tories will win the public over to the cuts and that Labour will be quite easily defeated in the battle for public opinion.

It is now quite clear that the entire establishment wants to cut the cost of the welfare state, and that includes the Labour party. They were increasing pensionable age and beginning to introduce workfare style policies and sometimes telling the unemployed to work or lose their homes when they were in power. It is clear that they will also cut welfare but they are just spinning against every Tory cut without telling us what they would do apart from "getting people back to work". Their position is not credible and Osborne has addressed low-paid workers at a warehouse and most agree that their taxes are being used to pay for some welfare payments that are too generous to some people.

I am against teh bedroom tax and some of teh other cuts, but I now agree that housing people in Belgravia paid for by th etaxes of people in warehouses etc is insupportable.

There are injustices with the cuts and that is what Labour is concentrating on. However, there are some cuts that are justifiable and labour do not mention those. That is why they will lose the argument. The workers in the warehouse want to hear what Labour will do about the cuts that need to be made, and of course the spinners in New labour won't address that. That is why they will lose public opinion.

'they can't abolish the poor. What are they going to do with them?'

It looks the the real reason behind the welfare restructuring (which has been agreed by the entire establishment) is to incentivise work, to remove people from benefits by making work more attractive (what they call "making work pay"). I think even this will win public opinion.

They have taken low-paid workers out of taxation (in order to make work pay), they have given tax breaks for childcare (but only for workers, in order to make work pay) and they are making benefit cutbacks and freezes in order to make work more attractive.

I now think that Labour will lose the battle for public opinion, because they refuse to put forward ideas that "make work pay", all they say is "let's have more work", but they try to ignore (for now and for spin purposes) how to incentivise the longterm unemployed back to work or how to cut taxpayer funds housing people in Belgravia.

Solopower1 Tue 02-Apr-13 23:32:31

The problem with this, Claig, is that a) the 'establishment' (yes I agree they are all in this together) are trying to make us believe the ludicrous assumption that unemployed people don't want to work and need to be persuaded to want a job; and b) there are no jobs.

claig Tue 02-Apr-13 23:35:53

They are discussing tomorrow's Daily Mail headline on Sky News now.
Everyone is criticising the Mail for the headline and it is disturbing, but unfortunately that is what many people believe and no one wants to address.

Solopower1 Tue 02-Apr-13 23:38:09

But the main problem is that we are all looking the way they are pointing, and not at what they don't want us to see. The real reason that we are in this mess is that 'they' have put us here. They are to blame. Not poor people or unemployed or sick people. This government and the previous one are to blame for this, and they want to deflect our attention on to the people who have the least power over anything, and who can't therefore have caused any of it.

And we believe them when they say that they will get us out of it.

claig Tue 02-Apr-13 23:42:00

Solo, the people do believe the Tories. The workers in the warehouses agree that there should be a cap on benefits.

Labour are losing the argument because they are trying to convince people that the cuts are all bad and should not be made nad that Daily Mail headlines are out of order. But this is avoiding the elephant in the room which the public can see and that is why they will not vote Labour when election time comes and when the crunch comes about choosing who to vote for. Labour are spinning but they are not playing to the public gallery, they are playing to their own crowd and that is why they will lose.

claig Tue 02-Apr-13 23:47:57

Of course New Labour and their 'light touch' regulation and their waste on climate change Acts that have increased our fuel bills are to blame, but the establishment don't care about all of that. They are worried that the cost of welfare is spiralling upwards and that too many people receive too many benefits and they want to change thge climate so that work pays and that people's benefits are capped.

The real reason behind the welfare restructuring is to get people accepting low-paid jobs rather than receiving benefits. Cuts are being made to show that "work pays" and that the taxpayer does not want to "pay" for people to make a lifestyle choice of being on benefits.

There are elephants in the room that people refuse to discuss, but which everyone knows are true.

Solopower1 Tue 02-Apr-13 23:51:26

I think Labour will win the next election.

Unfortunately they won't be able to undo all the harm this lot have done - even if they want to.

In a democracy the govt has to do what the people want. So the govt has to make the people want what the govt is doing. The govt's first priority is to stay in power (otherwise it can't do anything). Hence the manipulation etc.

What we have to do, imo, is stop letting them set the agenda, and above all, stop believing them! The world is not as they are presenting it to us! All we have to do is look around us and make up our own minds.

Solopower1 Tue 02-Apr-13 23:52:40

I agree about the elephants!

claig Tue 02-Apr-13 23:54:01

Osborne played to the public gallery, he put on a high-vis vest and spoke to workers on the front line, and the real truth is that the majority of those people agree with his policy of "making work pay" and getting people off benefits.

Miliband wouldn't be able to put on a high-vis vest and convince those people (the real public gallery) because he can only spin about "tax cust for millionaires" and those tricks (like the Labour increase in tax on those people in the last few weeks of their 13 year rule) don't wash with teh public in their high-vis vests. Those tricks and spin tactics only work for champagne socialists at the Guardian. The time for spinning is over, now is the time for action and th epublic knows that and will only vote for people who are honest and stop the spin.

claig Wed 03-Apr-13 00:03:39

Our TV news and media is mainly with Labour and the public message and Duncan Smith's message and Osborne's message does not get across well on our TV scrreens.

Tonight on Newsnight, they started the programme with a report on orphanges in Russia and disabled children and families giving up children because they could not cope and afford to look after them. The message was about benefits being very important, about state care being very important, which is true.

The second report was on the benefit cuts by the Tories. However, Blair's ex-adviser couldn't make a strong enough case for Labour's position even though our media is helping Labour.

The reason is that their argument is not credible. The elephant in the room is only discussed and can only be seen in newspapers such as the Daily Mail, and unfortunately for Labour, the majority of the workers in high-vis vests on teh shopfloor can see the elephant in the room and are in agreement that changes do need to be made.

Solopower1 Wed 03-Apr-13 00:15:42

Strange way you have of looking at things, Claig. I would see the BBC's juxtaposition of the two programmes as a straightforward attempt to remind us just how important welfare is. That's a good message to get across, benefits all of us, don't you think?

(If you think it benefits the Labour Party, then you are saying that the Labour Party also thinks welfare is important and the Tories don't).

'th epublic knows that and will only vote for people who are honest and stop the spin'

Do you think so? Do you really think so? Who are the people who are honest? How can we tell them apart from the ones that are not honest? How do we know that even the honest ones won't break their promises?

The Daily Mail is part of the problem, imo.

claig Wed 03-Apr-13 00:16:09

Osborne may be a toff and he does get a bad press from much of our TV media and press and that is why he was booed at the Olympics. But when election time comes, when he increasingly speaks to workers in factories and shopfloors, they will not see a toff as the New Labour spinners try to paint him, they will see someone who says what they think.

The public knows that both parties are full of Oxbridge educated millionaires and some toffs, but none of that will count. The public aren't stupid, they have already formed their opinions, they know what they want and they will vote for whoever gives it to them, and the way it is looking now, that will be the Oxbridge educated Eton toffs rather than the Oxbridge educated Primrose Hill progressives.

It won't matter what the BBC does, it won't matter how much they try to help Labour, because the public have already made up their mind.

Solopower1 Wed 03-Apr-13 00:17:12

So the elephant in your room is that the Labour party don't have any better ideas?

Solopower1 Wed 03-Apr-13 00:18:12

We'll see.

claig Wed 03-Apr-13 00:21:55

'I would see the BBC's juxtaposition of the two programmes as a straightforward attempt to remind us just how important welfare is.'

That is exactly why they did it. But ask yourself why they made that headline news today and not two weeks ago? I think it was significant that it was followed by Osborne next talking about cuts. They were showing us how important benefits were and they then followed it by people who wanted to cut benefits.

I think they know all the tricks, but their weakness is that they are probably also Oxbridge educated Primrose Hill progressives on generous expenses and large salaries paid for by the public, and have never met a worker in a high-vis vest. The public is not stupid and they woke up to Blair's spin. Spin is not the way to win.

Promotedbymailinglist Wed 03-Apr-13 00:24:34

By the way the 'get up in the morning' dog whistle is all about the working class jobs in London - the ones who pay less than enough to live on in the capital but are essential to the capital functioning - get the early tubes and see who are on them, not the higher-earners, the graduate trainees etc.

The 'blinds down' will be heard by all those people as 'nearly everyone in the country who earns more than me' - its a fake appeal to say to the working class in london, cleaners etc that the conservatives are supporting them more than the office workers.. i.e. its sheer spin.

(for what its worth, my main room curtain is not only down all day, but its velcroed around the edges (saves on the heating fact fans!).

This budget is a weirdy one to say that they are motivating the poor by taking away all their money - the poor are not the people who are using the welfare budget - its mostly middle class pensioners with higher life expectancy who are spending the welfare budget, the amount spared for people who are unemployed and working tax credits is teeny tiny compared to it.

The conservatives pride themselves on allowing business owners to take priority over staff, and on blaming the poor for not earning a decent wage 'you should work harder' - but in middle class occupations this becomes 'you should ask for a pay rise' or 'you should play the market to get paid more'. BUT When working class people demand higher wages or move employers for better conditions they are seen as trouble makers, lefties and nuisances. Its a difference in perception and based largely on who makes the money from paying low wages - the sectors that do so, service sector, manufacturing, retail are dominated by large businesses, and these recruit disproportionally from private schools.

Private schools still have a perception of class that its difficult to get your head round unless you have been close to it, its pretty much Edwardian/Victorian. (for evidence see which film and series i.e. cultural mirrors still get the most funding still and think of Mary Poppins. How often do we see Jane Austen and Dickens? remade and remade??)

Most clearly though this is a budget that reflects the still very old fashioned class-based education received in private schools. The recent 'pub quiz' education being advocated perpetuates this idea, i.e. that we should instill into our children the 'horrible histories' version of the poor being brutalised stupid and industry, agriculture or army fodder and the Jane Austen country house idea of the middle class 'leaders' who have all the intellectual discussion, strategic power plays and have all the emotions.

Sadly this perception is still so ingrained into public school life that its not a surprise that these people cannot view the world differently - the House of Commons is an extension of private schools and is steeped in the same traditions of the eras they believe we still exist in. It makes us laughable in the world, but still it continues because so many routes to power and money are still designed by men of that type, surrounded by other men of that type.

Conservative MPs who complain about welfare excesses, unionisation, lazy poor people etc would do well to remember that they are the most protected and most successfully unionised group in the public sector - their wages and wage rises are guaranteed and decided upon collectively not by contribution, but by need, their expense accounts and living expenses allow them to keep a good chunk of their salary untouched, they have the best healthcare, pension and in work benefits of any single group in the private sector.

Solopower1 Wed 03-Apr-13 00:24:42

It worked for Blair.

They all do it. That's why it's so hard to trust anything they say, and why we are always second-guessing them. Even the title of this thread: what's the real reason behind the welfare cuts?

Why don't they trust us, the public, with the truth?

claig Wed 03-Apr-13 00:24:47

No the elephants in the room are the Daily Mail headlines, which they all criticise and refuse to discuss.

The public can see the elephant in the room because they don't live on Primrose Hill.

Solopower1 Wed 03-Apr-13 00:28:06

Excellent post, Promoted. My reply was to Claig (X posted).

claig Wed 03-Apr-13 00:29:24

''th epublic knows that and will only vote for people who are honest and stop the spin'

Do you think so? Do you really think so? Who are the people who are honest?'

You ar eright and I am wrong about honest. The public won't vote for someone who is honest if they are also wrong. It is really about the public voting for someone who agrees with what the public already thinks. The public is not stupid, it listens to teh spin, but in the end it chooses the person who says what the public thinks. It does not choose the spinner who is not in tune with public thinking. That is what I mean by dishonest - the spinner.

Solopower1 Wed 03-Apr-13 00:32:47

I think I see what you mean, Claig.

You see things very strangely. So the Daily Mail is the one and only speaker of truth to power?

It might speak for some, but it doesn't say anything about my truth. Tbh, for me, the DM is like the negaitve of a black and white photo. It sees the black where I see the white and vice versa.

claig Wed 03-Apr-13 00:34:28

'Why don't they trust us, the public, with the truth?'

Because the "truth" they want to implement is often unpalatable to teh public, so they disguise the truth and spin it.

The Tories are doing a terrible job of media management and spin. They are incompetent. Ever since teh past tax it has been one disaster after another and now there is even talk of possible challenges to Cameron. They are terrible spinners even though they pay money to hire the so-called experts in spin.

But even with all of that and even if teh BBC helps Labour, the Tories will still win, because the public deep down agrees that cuts need to be made and all that New Labour can do is spin about "tax cuts for millionaires".

Solopower1 Wed 03-Apr-13 00:34:43

My last post was in response to your 00:24 one, not the most recent. I must speed up my typing.

What about what Promoted says?

claig Wed 03-Apr-13 00:35:43

Ever sonce the pasty tax

claig Wed 03-Apr-13 00:40:54

'So the Daily Mail is the one and only speaker of truth to power?'

No the power od teh Oxbridge educated Etonians and Primrose Hill progressives. They wouldn't be seen dead reading the Daily Mail and they disagree with nearly everything it says on climate change, overseas aid and everything else. But the Daily Mail is teh speaker of truth of majority public opinion (inclding teh workers in teh high-vis vests).

On the news today, it said that the number one cut that the public wanted was in "overseas aid". The Daily Mail reflects that view, it does not lead it, but the Primnrose Hill progressives and power recoil in horror at those type of Daily Mail headlines that reflect public opinion.

Solopower1 Wed 03-Apr-13 00:42:03

I'm getting a bit sleepy here, but it seems to me that you are contradicting yourself. If the truth is unpalatable, ie not what the public wants, and if the public are not stupid, why can't they see through the spin? Because if they did see through it they wouldn't vote for a govt that was doing things they didn't want, would they?

But if the people agree that cuts need to be made, why would the govt need to spin it?

Sorry, a bit picky, probably. Don't answer if you don't want to.

I don't agree with your bottom-up view of things anyway. I think the govt invests so much time and money into spinning precisely because they think they can shape public opinion. They listen to us, but only so that they can refute our arguments or scheme against us.

claig Wed 03-Apr-13 00:47:41

I think Promoted has teh wrong emphasis.

'the poor are not the people who are using the welfare budget - its mostly middle class pensioners with higher life expectancy who are spending the welfare budget'

That may be teh case, but it does not matter to the public, because the key fact that the public agrees with is that the pensioners have paid in all their lives they have contributed all their lives. New Labour does not care for teh pensioners, but the public believe that the pensioners are more deserving than young people with 10 kids on a benefit lifestyle. That is teh harsh reality of what the public really think and that is what Osborne tells the workers about the shirkers. Unless New Labour can speak for the majority, they will lose the public vote.

Promotedbymailinglist Wed 03-Apr-13 00:50:23

by the way he is saying 'make work pay' - presumably trying to sound like what he is doing is making work a real incentive by encouraging employers to pay a wage that is livable on and an incentive to come off benefits.

He is comparing benefits with work and trying to say that if you work you will be better off, but he is doing that by only fiddling with one side of the equation - reducing benefits. The impact that has is absolutely tiny - better would be to encourage businesses to offer jobs that will motivate people to apply for them because it will be better than the 'minimum the government has decided you can live on'.

If employers aren't offering jobs at a wage that competes with this shockingly low benchmark then that is where the fire needs to be concentrated. A tiny increase in wages at the bottom end would free up spending, reduce the negative psycholgical spiral we are in, and allow small businesses who rely on employees buying stuff to survive would also benefit.. and be able to pay better wages..

Its shocking that this virtuous cycle is being disregared in favour of ideology. I hope I am wrong, but it keeps looking like this. Didn't I see today that borrowing is 33 billion more under the coalition than it was under labour??

claig Wed 03-Apr-13 00:51:33

Solo, the Tories are useless spinners. Osborne is booed and not many people seem to like Duncan Smith. There is no decent spin from the Tories. They are losing in the opinion polls. But when the time comes to vote, what appears to be their weakness now, their lack of ability to spin their message, will paradoxically be their strength, because even though the public don't like it or like Osborne or Duncan Smith, they will still vote for them, because deep down they agree that cuts need to be made.

Promotedbymailinglist Wed 03-Apr-13 00:55:11

?? How do we know that benefit claimants aren't largely people who have formerly contributed or who will contribute in the future? The trouble is with collective benefit is that once you start saying I want to pay into collective benefit, but get out in proportion to what I put in, is that you disrupt the whole idea, its like saying 'we all contribute to the heating bill, but when I'm out I want the heating off' its crazy.

claig Wed 03-Apr-13 00:56:08

'But if the people agree that cuts need to be made, why would the govt need to spin it?'

They are useless at spinning it. But they have to try to spin it, because New Labour does nothing else but spin against the Tories with their tricks about "tax cuts for millionaires" and "our of touch toffs".

The Tories can't just sit back and let New Labour spin on the BBC all night, so they have to try and spin. But they are useless at it and have a "nasty party" "uncaring" image, but even with allof those disadvantages, they will still win in the final analysis because the public dislike them but agree with them.

MTSgroupie Wed 03-Apr-13 00:59:06

confused at all the talk about surpluses

Retired people are living longer so are drawing benefits for longer. The baby boomers are retiring and large families are out of fashion. Net effect? The proportion of people contributing/receiving is slowly getting worse.

We cannot continue without wholesale changes to the system.

claig Wed 03-Apr-13 00:59:24

'Didn't I see today that borrowing is 33 billion more under the coalition than it was under labour??'

Yes, because they are paying more unemployment benefits because their econonmic policy is not yet working. They are not prepared to cut those payments further, so they have to borrow more.

Solopower1 Wed 03-Apr-13 01:04:25

H'mm. I agree with Promoted. Raise wages. Don't cut benefits. That is nasty, vindictive, cruel and unnatural, imo. It's been shown, time and again that the vast majority of people on benefits are there as a last resort, are in work and struggling. Why make things even harder for them? How can you (we) bear to do that?

claig Wed 03-Apr-13 01:07:46

'The trouble is with collective benefit is that once you start saying I want to pay into collective benefit, but get out in proportion to what I put in, is that you disrupt the whole idea'

But that is exactly what has happened, because the elephant in the room about welfare has not been addressed by the progressives. The public has lost faith in some of the welfare system. They see people getting benefits that they think should not, they hear of people living in Belgravia where rent costs £4000 a week of public money, when they can't afford to heat their homes or run their cars due to increasing fuel costs.

People do believe that there really are "shirkers" even though New Labour et al refuse to address these things. That is why New Labour did so poorly in Eastleigh even though the Coalition is so unpopular.

The welfare reforms are partly about increasing checks in order to restore faith in the contributory system, because people feel they are being "squeezed" to pay for some people who are taking the piss - the type of disco dancers reported on in Daily Mail articles who calim they have bad backs. People down the pub really believe that some of this is going on.

claig Wed 03-Apr-13 01:13:03

'Raise wages. Don't cut benefits. That is nasty, vindictive, cruel and unnatural'

This is New Labour style policy, but it will not get public support.

You can't tell businesses to raise wages because we are in the midst of teh worst financial crisis since the 1930s. Businesses are in crisis and unemployment is rising, raising wages would increase costs and reduce salkes and profitability and lead to more job losses. This is a crisis.

Labour's policy (so they say now) is not to cut the benefits that the Tories are cutting. But teh public thinks that some benefit claimants are swinging the lead and jiving and swinging in dancehalls with supposedly bad backs and teh public wants something done about it. New Labour are once again out of touch with public sentiment.

MTSgroupie Wed 03-Apr-13 01:19:19

During the lead up to the London Olympics there were news stories about how it was having little effect on local unemployment because a lot of the service jobs were going to Eastern Europeans. Apparently, after tax, travel expenses etc what was left wasn't enough to encourage local people to come off benefits.

There has to be something wrong with a benefit system where a job is attractive enough for someone to come over from Eastern Europe but not for someone who lives a 30min bus ride away.

claig Wed 03-Apr-13 01:25:22

MTSgroupie, you are right. But it is worse than that. Some people felt they were being denied work opportunities, that agencies preferred non-;locals to them and that large contractors often dealt with these agnecies. Whether that is right or wrong I don't know.

But many people feel they are being "squeezed", not treated fairly, and that they are paying taxes out of their "squeezed" income in order to benefit people who are not contributing like they are.

pollypandemonium Wed 03-Apr-13 01:27:25

www.dmo.gov.uk/index.aspx?page=CRND/CRND_Portfolio/NIFIA

I've had a look at this link, that OP referenced earlier and it does seem that National Insurance is held in a separate account and is effectively untouchable. It is an insurance and not a tax. The amount is set at 2bn minimum in case of emergencies such as an epidemic but the HMRC can only borrow out of it and put back into it - the government cannot decide to reduce it or change its value. So saving money for the NI account does not mean extra goes into the HMRC coffers.

Correct me if I'm wrong.

Solopower1 Wed 03-Apr-13 01:29:02

Why does 'the public' think all these things, Claig? I don't. But maybe that's because I don't read the Daily Mail.

A better question. Why does the Daily Mail print such stories? What good does it do, to stir people up in hatred against each other? Why are its stories so different from what I read in the Guardian? And who is 'right'?

Could it be that neither is accurate unless it shows the other side of the question? In which case, in order to be fully informed, wouldn't you have to read both? Who has time for that?

So how do we know what to believe? I suppose we only see what we want to see, don't we?

claig Wed 03-Apr-13 01:57:45

'Why does 'the public' think all these things, Claig? I don't. But maybe that's because I don't read the Daily Mail.'

You are right, not all of the public thinks that, but I think the majority do think that, and we will find out when election time comes. Elections are about majorities. What New Labour bigwigs think will not matter, because at the end of the day, what matters is what the public thinks.

'A better question. Why does the Daily Mail print such stories? What good does it do, to stir people up in hatred against each other? Why are its stories so different from what I read in the Guardian? And who is 'right'?'

We live in a pluralist society with many different opinions. The Oxbridge educated Primrose Hill progressives and Etonians are a small minority. The Daily Mail does not speak for any of them. They all want carbon taxes and ring-fenced overseas aid etc etc. The Daily Mail speaks for the silent majority (which is why it has such high sales figures and why its online paper is teh number one internet news site in the world). In a democracy, it has a valuable function. It represents and gives voice to the silent minority, the "squeezed middle" and teh middle classes.

Why does this matter? Because public policy matters, because politics matter, because the people and the country matter. Maybe teh spinners and the progressives have got things wrong, maybe they are not carrying out or listening to the wishges of the silent, powerless majority. That is why a different voice needs to be heard, soi that issues can be debated from both sides and the best solution can be found.

'What good does it do, to stir people up in hatred against each other?'

It does not stir up hatred, it holds a mirror to society and asks people "have you seen this? Do you think this is right?" Is it right that a benefit claimant should be paid £4000 of public money per week to live in Belgtavia and should then sublet that property out? That is not hate. That is news and is about our society and politics. It is the spinners who smear the Daily Mail journalist with the tag of haters in order to shut them up and stop them informing the public and teh result is that public funds are wasted because of this.

'Why are its stories so different from what I read in the Guardian? And who is 'right'? '

That is obvious and needs no answer. The Daily Mail is right.

'So how do we know what to believe? I suppose we only see what we want to see, don't we?'

We know what to believe by using our experience. We listen to debate and all opinions and we spot spin and lies and look at what works. We use judhement and information from all sides. We don't only see what we want to see. The public don't like the Tories, they don't like what they "see", but they don't care about what they "see", what they care about is that it is with the Tories that they agree. They don't have to like them, but they can still back them.

claig Wed 03-Apr-13 02:23:46

The Daily Mail is like the canary in a coal mine. It warns the public of mistakes, errors and policies that are going wrong. It is a treasure trove that dispenses nuggets of information to a hungry public.

The Guardian is a different beast entirely - it is a multi-headed hydra, a fire-breathing Gorgon that frazzles the brain and catches good, unwary people in its net as it writes about "saving the planet".

PollyEthelEileen Wed 03-Apr-13 05:49:51

The TV License is the only hypothecated tax in this country. Other than everything goes in and out of one big pot.

Now, what is the OP talking about?

OP is talking about NI revenue being held in a seperate fund and being unavailable for any other spending.

Okay, here's another link: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Insurance_Fund

There is a lot more information out there if you care to look for it.

Ha ha at your description of the DM, Claig. It's a silly rag, the quality of journalism is awful and it's editorial obsession is royals and celebs.

claig Wed 03-Apr-13 08:20:17

'Ha ha at your description of the DM, Claig. It's a silly rag, the quality of journalism is awful and it's editorial obsession is royals and celebs.'

If that were really the case, then the progressives and their higly paid spinners would not fear the Daily Mail. They would not fear its high sales figures, they would not fear the way just one of its headlines can sink their entire spin campaigns.

There is no paper that the spinners and progressives fear more than the Daily Mail. They prefer their tame pussycat papers and TV news stations. What they fear is the lion that roars. What they fear is the truth. What they fear is the public seeing through the lies and spin and discovering the truth. The Daily Mail speaks for the public and not for the progressives. That is why they fear the Daily Mail and that is why it has such high sales.

claig Wed 03-Apr-13 08:27:38

Read the comments of the silent majority at the bottom of Daily Mail articles. That is why they fear the Daily Mail. They wish it would shut up exposing the truth. The Daily Mail is much more than being about royal and celebs.

It speaks for the public and not the progressives. That is why they don't like it. That is why the millionaires, the spinners, the great and the good and the progressives don't like it.

www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2301757/Governments-climate-watchdog-launches-astonishing-attack-Mail-Sunday--revealing-global-warming-science-wrong.html?ito=feeds-newsxml

claig Wed 03-Apr-13 08:40:28

They go on TV and spin and weave and lie through their teeth without a by your leave and totally ignore the elephant in the room.

All that the Daily Mail does is say there's Nellie the elephant, what are you going to do about it?

Of course they don't like that, it puts a spanner in their spin and makes them fear they might not win.

flatpackhamster Wed 03-Apr-13 08:57:48

morethanpotatoprints

Flatpack

Are you on the same planet. NO government does not have a say in how you treat your body, whether you smoke or drink or are overweight.

Since when? If you go to the doctor they now have to ask if you smoke and if you do they'll ask you whether you'd considered giving up. There are government programmes for cutting smoking. The same applies to alcohol. Haven't you seen the TV adverts and posters?

They and society in general also have no say in how anybody lives, what they spend their remaining money on.

That simply isn't the case as 13 years of Labour bullying and hectoring showed us. Endless bloody nagging programmes. Eat this, don't eat that. Drink this, not that. Don't smoke. Exercise. Government clearly believes it has every right to tell us how to live and what to do.

Tax payers also have no say in where their tax goes because it isn't their money it belongs to the government. Unless I have missed an important questionnaire they have sent me grin

Well, this is where we disagree and where there's a big difference between 'left' and 'right' (for want of better terms). Left traditionally believes that all money is inherently owned by the government and that people - particularly hard-working, wealthy people - are merely holding it temporarily before government confiscates it and does what it wants with it. Right traditionally believes that government doesn't automatically own all the money in the country and doesn't have an inherent right to it.

claig Wed 03-Apr-13 09:31:19

Isn't it fascinating how Labour seem to oppose every cut that the Tories make or suggest, except for one?

There is one policy that Labour applaud the government for and do not want cut - overseas aid.

And that is in spite of the wishes of the public. The Guardian and the great and the good won't talk about it. The TV media give full publicity to organised campaigns of people leaving tube stations with George Osborne masks on and carrying red budget briefcases on budget day who oppose cuts to foreign aid.

Do the Guardian and the great and the good really represent public opinion, so they really represent teh workers in high-vis vests that Osborene addressed yesterday? Or is it the papers that th e progresives deride that are truly in touch with the public?

www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2293620/Voters-want-cuts-overseas-aid-More-half-want-Chancellor-reduce-spending-ahead-Budget.html

claig Wed 03-Apr-13 09:33:49

'Isn't it fascinating how Labour seem to oppose every cut that the Tories make or suggest, except for one?'

Should have been every government policy about cuts rather than every cut.

claig Wed 03-Apr-13 09:42:26

Below is what people say they want in opinion polls. But when did the great and the good ever listen to ordinary people in high-vis vests?

[Lord Ashcroft] said: ‘People show compassion by giving of what they have, of their own accord. If people want to support charities that provide real help to those in need, I admire them. But governments cannot be compassionate with money they have confiscated from their citizens on pain of prison.’

Benefit payments is another area that the public want to see reduced. Some 44 per cent want a cut in welfare payments, while 28 per cent want to see a reduction in spending on defence at a time of austerity.
A majority of Tory supporters, 65 per cent, want to see a reduction in benefits while even 43 per cent of Liberal Democrats want to see lower payments, just behind the 50 per cent of Ukip voters.

However just over one in four Labour supporters - 26 per cent - want lower benefits.

Some 84 per cent of Ukip supporters want to see spending on overseas aid slashed, followed by 61 per cent of Conservatives, 49 per cent of Labour voters and 47 per cent of Lib Dem supporters.

The poll shows voters are strongly against cuts to frontline services, with just three per cent wanting a cut in state pensions, two per cent agreeing with a cut to schools and one per cent in a reduction on spending in care for the elderly

www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2293620/Voters-want-cuts-overseas-aid-More-half-want-Chancellor-reduce-spending-ahead-Budget.html

claig Wed 03-Apr-13 09:56:19

We are seeing the progressives play out their latest trick of highlighting the benefits that go to pensioners and saying it is "unfair" that they should not share a burden of the cuts. And the "intergenerational divide" propaganda is the progressives' latest trick (but those promoting it aren't just Labour MPs, there are lots of Tory progressives promoting it too).

But as this shows
one per cent [of the public believe] in a reduction on spending in care for the elderly

this will not win them any votes, because teh public believe that is "unfair" since pensioners have contributed and paid in all of their lives.

claig Wed 03-Apr-13 10:12:23

The election is still in the balance and it really depends on the leadership and whether they can sell the policies and messages that the public want to hear.

There are many Tories who question how many Conservative values teh leadership really believe in. They don't seem to be able to sell the right message to the public. They seem to want to play more to the progressive gallery than to the public gallery. That is why some people are talking about leadership challenges before it is too late.

However, Osborne did very well yesterday in addressing ordinary workers on the shopfloor in high-vis vests rather than bankers in City mansion halls. Osborne's message is not as bad as the TV media and progressives like to portray and if he starts going above the mediua bosses heads by speaking to workers directly, then I think he will win the public over.

claig Wed 03-Apr-13 10:20:48

Even though the BBC started their Newsnight programme last night with a report on Russian orphanages, only then followed by Osborne talking about welfare reform, on the day after the biggest shakeup in welfare since the founding of the welfare state, Osborne still won through and got his message across.

Promotedbymailinglist Wed 03-Apr-13 10:53:06

People whinge about benefit claimants because they are angry that whilst they work, they don't feel that well off. In fact that anger should be directed at people who work less, in more cushy environments and get paid several times what someone in a working class job does, but because a) The mail are desperate to push that hatred away onto someone else.. their headline journalists earn £60k or more (Melanie Philips, Littlejohn etc)
b) we still have a notion of class-based subservience to the better off and this makes working class and lower middle class fawn upwards and hammer downwards. This continues into the underclass where the working class condemn the benefit class, the benefit class condemn the criminal class, the criminal class condemn alcoholics, the alcoholics condemn the junkies, the junkies condemn the crack addicts.

All we see in the mail is a 'don't look at me! Its Him!' attitude - the kind of attitude which at school pegged you as untrustworthy, lying, bullying and devious. When the journalists at the mail make their accounts open and transparent, have their sex lives and drug habits laid bare and their tax manipulations exposed, we will see who really takes out of the system, and it ain't people taking £53 a week we need to worry about, its the far greater number of gravy train I'm alright jacks who are frantically pointing the finger at anyone except themselves.

Behind the face of many Mail journalists is the thug who beats up 'the weak' with the twisted notion that it makes them look strong.

claig Wed 03-Apr-13 11:06:45

Promoted, I don't think that that is how teh majority of people think. Most people are not envious of the salaries of Melanie Phillips or Littlejohn. I read an article which said that Littlejohn apparently earns in the region of £1 million. Good luck to him. He has earned that through a unique talent. If someone has a better talent then they could easily displace him and do the job for less.

The public do not object to talent and high wages based on merit. What they object to is publicly funded fat cats on expenses and first class train ticllets with high salaries paid for out of the public purse who sometimes preside over failure.

The public do also object to paying tax which in part goes to fund a benefit claimant being housed in Belgravia on somewhere in the region of £4000 per week of public taxpayer money.

The public believe in "fairness" and do not want their hard-earned money wasted or spent unwisely.

claig Wed 03-Apr-13 11:10:06

It is the same for Polly Toynbee and George Monbiot. I don't know what they earn and I don't care because they are talented individuals who contribute to public debate by addressing political issues. Just like Melanie Phillips and Littlejohn, they think their own ideas up, they don't need think tanks and spinners to tell them what to think or how to colour coordinate their suits and ties.

claig Wed 03-Apr-13 11:45:09

Sorry, I was wrong about the £4000 a week cost, it is actually £4000 a month.

Claig, do you work for or own the DM? Not a catty question, just slightly taken aback by your very passionate defence of it.

claig Wed 03-Apr-13 12:10:43

No I don't. But I agree with many of its positions just like the millions who buy it and the hundreds of millions who make it the world's number one online newspaper do.

I defend the Daily Mail because of all the attacks on it and the millions who support it, by progressives who want to stop it revealing the truth on issues such as climate change, overseas aid and many other political issues.

I believe in a free press, not gagged or regulated by politicians, which contrinbutes to public policy creation by discussing political issues. That is why I want a free Guardian to publish whatever it likes and a free Daily Mail to piblish whatever it likes.

I don't like the attempts to discredit the world's leading online newspaper and to discredit its millions of good readers by a bunch of often privately educated politically motivated Oxbridge progressive spin doctors who want to pull the wool over the public's eyes.

claig Wed 03-Apr-13 12:13:24

I defend the people and the people's paperr. That is why I defend the Daily Mail against the smears of the progressives.

InSearchOfPerfection Wed 03-Apr-13 12:19:49

flap there is a big difference between a government or a go telling you what to eat and a system where how you spend your money is controlled by the government.

In one case, you can chose not to follow the advice. You can even choose not to have chemo for a cancer.
But in the second case, you have no other choice than doing whatever is expected from you. If benefits are given out, it's for several reasons.
1- to ensure that no one is dying of hunger or cold anymore.
2- to ensure no CHILD is dying of hunger or malnutrition anymore.
3- so that everyone can be part of the big economic market. Not for their own convenience but because otherwise, our system, that is based onto growth, can't work anymore. You need buyers to keep the economy going.
None of this is done from a charitable basis. Nor is it done with the idea that people have to pay back one way or the other (eg showing how grateful they are that the state is giving them something to eat by following some rules such as what they can eat or do)..
It has been done because it would be bad for the economy if we were not doing so.
But none of items anyone needs to give up their liberty and rights as an individual.

BoulevardOfBrokenSleep Wed 03-Apr-13 13:43:12

Just leaping back to the OP for a minute...

The economic effect of slashing welfare to the bone is to ensure that people will fight for, and grimly hang onto, any job, no matter how crap the pay is or how shittily they're treated.

Obviously this aligns with the interests of business, and hence the Tories.

Throw in all that crap about slashing red tape and 'elf and safety'... You have a workforce you can pay peanuts, and if they balk at, say, handling dangerous chemicals without safety kit, you can sack them instantly with no comeback. What's not to love?

ttosca Wed 03-Apr-13 15:18:32

So sad, Claig.

The Daily Mail: Using Human Tragedy To Push Their Vile Class Agenda

Of course Mick Philpott is a hideous individual, but he is as representative of the poor as Hans and Eva Rausing are of the rich...

Those of us with a shred of humanity, those of us on even nodding terms with basic human decency might choose to spend a few moments today reflecting on the horrific tragedy that befell six of Mick Philpott’s children. We might even go a little further and feel an indescribable rage towards a man, a so-called father, being the conscious architect of the demise of six of his seventeen – yes, seventeen – children.

In a cynical and twisted plot, the jury at Nottingham Crown Court learned, this selfish and misogynistic creature deliberately started a fire and attempted to frame his neighbour all with the intent of appearing the hero by rescuing his children. At the same time visiting revenge upon the hapless neighbour who had slept with his partner. There’s more than enough there to sicken anyone.

Not the Daily Mail, though. For them a human tragedy of this nature is simply an opportunity to push even further their revolting and immoral class agenda. Today’s front page, emblazoned as it is with the banner headline, ‘Vile Product Of Welfare UK’ says everything about a tabloid whose connection to the lofty ideals and principles of the Fourth Estate is as tenuous as those of the Tory party to compassion and equality.

In one sense, there’s little new here; the putrid rag, right from its Hitler-glorifying headline, ‘Hurrah for The Blackshirts’ all the way to the present day, has consistently articulated the most vile prejudices and bigotries of its blue-rinsed, would-be middle-class, Conservative readership. On the other hand, the stomach-turning cynicism of both the sentiment and timing of today’s front-page marks a new low for a publication one might reasonably have concluded couldn’t possibly sink any lower. “Inside the house of depravity: Two giant TVs, a snooker room but the children were barely fed by Mick Philpott whose sordid lifestyle beggars belief!” screams the Hate Mail, in its usual strident tones of sanctimony and sneering self-righteousness.

After a veritable onslaught of vituperation, lies and sheer malice aimed at those out of work, the disabled, single mothers and immigrants alike, the Daily Mail has been a key driver in fomenting a culture of hate against the nation’s poor and underprivileged. Lurid and hysterical attacks, based often on outright lies, are its disgusting stock in trade. And in a week when the poor have been hammered yet further by the introduction of the ‘Bedroom Tax’ and other heartless and spiteful cuts to benefits, it’s nothing less than vomit-inducing that the toilet-paper tabloid seeks to make political capital out of such an emotionally-charged and appalling crime.

More…
Inside The Daily Mail’s Cannabis Report
I’m Addicted To The Daily Mail Website

Of course, the wretched parents in this contemptible episode are as much a product of the welfare state as Peter Sutcliffe is of the Road Haulage Association. Or Beverly Allitt is of the Royal College of nursing. What they might well be a product of, though, is neoliberal free-market economics; a system where the only possible measurements of value are those that can be entered on a spread-sheet in pounds and pence. A society that sees its workforce as nothing more than a resource to be employed, abused and then sacked at will, depending on the whims of the market. A culture that deems it perfectly moral, no; necessary even, to scapegoat the elderly, the disabled, the unemployed and working poor alike and view them as merely cannon fodder in an on-going class war. The sole purpose of which is to enrich still further those at the top at the expense of those at the bottom. In such a society, one that utterly distorts our natural humanity and produces the most grotesque and aberrant human behaviour in pursuit of wealth, why should we expect anything different from those at the bottom of the social order?

One might also wish to consider the nauseating hypocrisy of its editor, Paul Dacre. This repellent caricature of a press man sanctions, daily, attacks on ‘scroungers’ when the rich and Conservative demagogues, whose cause he so enthusiastically champions, freely use British infrastructure, resources and personnel to acquire their ill-gotten gains. And then promptly shift the loot off-shore to avoid paying their fair share of income tax. ‘Scroungers’ eh? You bet.

In conclusion, then, we can be certain of several things; the Daily Mail, along with its troglodyte scribblers and hacks, who laughably pass for journalists, are an affront to decency, fairness and honesty. With today’s headline they have confirmed their standing as the most toxic faecal lump floating in the sewer of British tabloid ‘journalism’. The comments in response to the rag’s noxious online edition of the Philpott article confirms, beyond any doubt, that’s its readers are stupidly ignorant, cruel and spiteful bigots. Following all this, though, we can also be sure of thing more; they, and the Daily Mail, spit in the very face of humanity.

www.dorseteye.com/north/articles/the-daily-mail-using-human-tragedy-to-push-their-vile-class-agenda

ttosca Wed 03-Apr-13 15:25:59

Claig-

> I defend the people and the people's paperr. That is why I defend the Daily Mail against the smears of the progressives.

Do you have any idea that you sound more and more like a fascist, defending a reactionary right-wing populist newspaper which attacks immigrants, poor people, homosexuals and anyone else who falls outside the narrow, bigoted, small-minded, little-Englander view of England?

Far from 'The Peoples Paper' ("Volkszeitung"?), it is the a paper which merely re-enforces the prejudices of a subset of the population, and attacks anyone else who falls outside of this subset.

The Daily Heil has consistently supported fascism and fascists - not just in WWII, but more recently with their support for the National Front in France.

It's really sad to see you support such a newspaper. I'm sure you genuinely believe you're fighting for 'the people', but you are deeply misguided if you think the Daily Mail represents the interests of 'the people'. It doesn't.

Please stop with the right-wing populism. It's divisive and wrong.

claig Wed 03-Apr-13 15:48:42

'Do you have any idea that you sound more and more like a fascist, defending a reactionary right-wing populist newspaper which attacks immigrants, poor people, homosexuals and anyone else who falls outside the narrow, bigoted, small-minded, little-Englander view of England?'

I don't recognise your depiction of the world's leading online newspaper. The paper that was awarded Newspaper of the Year 2012 by the Society of Editors and which fought for years on behalf of the Lawrence family.

Just because Tony Blair may possibly not like the Daily Mail, doesn't mean that the millions who read it online every day are bigots or fascists.

The Daily Fail strikes again, using the murders of 6 children as way of causing more media propaganda.
If that isn't bad enough they have also sickenly placed a picture with the story too.

Those poor children would have suffered so greatly, and the paper uses their deaths as a way to tar all those on welfare with the same brush.

Murder and evil can be of any class/race/heritage, to use any of the above to tar the whole pollution of such groups is wrong and ridiculous on many levels.

There are bad and good people from all walks of life.

The paper has angered me so much that i have made a official complaint.

ivanhoe Fri 24-May-13 23:09:43

The real reason behind the benefit cuts is simply. The Tories have an inherent loathing of the welfare state, and the role of the State, and they are using the deficit as a cover to get rid of it. And the BBC media are compliant.

Sparrowp Tue 28-May-13 02:52:52

The reason for "welfare reform" is that it allows a severe attack on wages and working rights. You can see this already with 0 hours contracts - people must be desperate for anything - and in stagnating and falling wages.

The BBC is compliant because there is a tory bigwig sitting on it (chris patten).

Sparrowp Tue 28-May-13 02:55:20

At the same time the Conservatives are handing out your NI payments to their chums through dodgy, useless companies such as A4E, and every other organisation using workfare.

Basically, its a raid.

niceguy2 Tue 28-May-13 09:57:56

Just wanted to point out that A4E signed their first contract with the government for the "New Deal" in 1998 and "pathway to work" in 2008. So if you want to be more correct, both Labour, Conservatives & the lib dems have been handing out our taxes to A4E for a long time now.

It's not some sudden Tory conspiracy.

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