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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.

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


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


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?

pumpkinsweetie Tue 02-Apr-13 18:58:54

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


> 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."


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

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


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

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? "

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!

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