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I wonder what the real reason is behind welfare reform?

(140 Posts)
Peahentailfeathers Mon 01-Apr-13 08:15:59

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.

Peahentailfeathers Mon 01-Apr-13 08:31:40

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>

Peahentailfeathers Mon 01-Apr-13 08:32:40

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


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.

pumpkinsweetie Mon 01-Apr-13 08:47:21

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

pumpkinsweetie Mon 01-Apr-13 08:47:58

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


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.


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


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


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

pumpkinsweetie Mon 01-Apr-13 23:44:50

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.

pumpkinsweetie Mon 01-Apr-13 23:48:17

Child benefit per month

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