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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.

Luvverly Sat 01-Aug-15 11:35:13

well, the reason the Tories did it was because it was popular according to the opinion polls.(But not with poor people.)
The reason they left the elderly alone. Was because lots of them are said to vote Tory. (not me)

NoNoNoYes1234 Wed 22-Jul-15 10:04:07

Please sign;-Increase the threshold for Pay to Stay

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.

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.

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).

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.

pumpkinsweetie Wed 03-Apr-13 16:20:08

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.

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.

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


> 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.

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.

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.

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?

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.

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.

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.

Peahentailfeathers Wed 03-Apr-13 12:01:12

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 11:45:09

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

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 11:06:45

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.

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 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.

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 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 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

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 09:31:19

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?

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