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David Cameron's Government is 'Nastiest' in British History

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  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    G-Raffe, the only bill that JSA doesn't include is rent. You have to pay your water, electricity and gas from your £53 a week, as well as (from yesterday) your council tax too. Given that many recipients of JSA are stuck on pre-payment meters, £53 really doesn't go very far at all.

    GWST: Given that social rents are already ridiculously low, I fail to see why making somoene pay for their spare room is such a terrible ordeal. My only gripe is that they don't go further, and make pensioners pay too. I don't go in for the "scroungers versus grafters" rhetoric but essentilly the current housing benefit system takes money from my pocket to pay for someone else's spare room. What about my spare room? Oh, I can't afford one because of the amount of tax these thieving fuckers take from me.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I'd also like to contest the rather overly simplified way in which austerity is being portrayed: tax cuts for the rich paid for by the poor. It's lazy to frame the debate as rich vs. poor. Businesses are being given incentives to create jobs by tax cuts and the government is reining in spending, that's Tory ideology and austerity falling in line. Jobs need to be created and public sector spending needs to come down; tax cuts for businesses is one way of encouraging job creation and cutting down the largest public sector outgoing (DoWP) reduces spending. I'll argue with people how and where are cuts are best made, but the basic premise holds water.

    However, stepping outside of party politics, it seems to me there are facts to be known about pragmatic policy and revenue generation, i.e. you could tax everything people earn over £100k at 80%, but would it provide more revenue? History says this doesn't work. So, no matter how much that would be red meat to the lions of socialism it's just not cogent or coherent. I want policy that works. And I don't mind if the policy happens something Tory, Labour or the LibDems are championing.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Nobody has been able to explain the causal link between corporation tax cuts and employment increases though. Employment costs reduce profit and therefore reduce the corporation tax bill of a company. Therefore essentially a company would pay less tax by employing more staff, so cutting the amount of tax they pay is highly unlikely to create further employment. A company will take on staff if there is work to be done and they can make money out of it, and cutting corporation tax is not going to change anything at all about this dynamic.

    What it will do, though, is allow the venture capital vultures to fill their boots. So framing corporation tax cuts as stealing from the poor to give to the rich is entirely proper.

    Cutting tax rates on income does increase revenue from the highest earners, that much seems to be true. But so does closing the loopholes that allow people to offshore their income whilst enjoying the benefits of living and working and making money in the UK. If someone wants to put their cash in Bermuda or the Cayman Islands that's absolutely fine, just make sure that they get put on the plane along with the readies and get permanently barred from re-entering the UK, even for one day.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    However, stepping outside of party politics, it seems to me there are facts to be known about pragmatic policy and revenue generation, i.e. you could tax everything people earn over £100k at 80%, but would it provide more revenue? History says this doesn't work. So, no matter how much that would be red meat to the lions of socialism it's just not cogent or coherent. I want policy that works. And I don't mind if the policy happens something Tory, Labour or the LibDems are championing.

    Completely agreed with you on that. What you're referring to with regards to tax revenues I believe is the laffer curve.

    As someone who studied taxation excessively at uni, the reason progressive taxation does work is the marginal utility of money. The first £5 is more important to you (allowing you a decent sandwich and a bus ticket) than the following £5. The economic argument is fairly sound that when people are earning rather a lot, their marginal loss of utility is tiny compared to the marginal gain in utility from e.g. Spending that £5 to put a vulnerable person in a hostel for the night. Where the 'sweet spot' is though is open to contention.

    Of course the other argument is that taxation is theft, and governments should not be in the business of sorting out who should have what, but merely tax the very minimum you need to in order to allow society to run unimpeded (e.g. Prevent war, keep law and order, etc.)

    I personally am a bit of a socialist democrat or whatever so would rather we look how to most efficiently distribute our limited resources, and plan how to efficiently distribute them (with the inefficiencies of lack of competitive pressure compensated for by the efficiencies of economies of scale e.g. NHS). but I see other peoples point about the government having no divine right to people's earnings.

    Still believe though that if cuts are on the menu they should be well thought out cuts that are fair and simple. I don't understand the empty rhetoric about 'make work pay'. I already get paid to work. I mean this is Adam Smiths maxims of taxation, pretty old conservative values, that the government is flying in the face of.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    If the purpose of debate is to win people with opposite viewpoints to your side, calling them borderline fascists isn't really likely to work... abuse only works if its amusing (I miss Stargalaxy and Aladdin, who were masters of that :crying:)

    I'm not trying to win people over I'm just stating my opinion.

    I'm all for assessing people and helping them back into work, but consistently mis-assessing people with both DLA and ESA (the medicals for both are now being done by ATOS), only for the decision to be over turned at tribunal. And do people really need to be assessed every three months? I really don't think so. It's a huge waste of money and if then then don't help people with disabilities into suitable work (which I know melian can testify).

    As for the spare bedroom tax - I need a sleep in carer. Social services won't provide one even though my GP says otherwise. My mother stays with me as much as she can, but the council won't see that as legitimate use. In fact they told me how i shouldn't be relying on family to meet my care needs. There are many others in my situation, and also a lot of people who can't move out because they can't sell their house or who are waiting to be rehoused into smaller properties by the council but the council doesn't have the right kind of stock. In my county, people are having to move 20 miles+ away from friends and families to avoid the tax because that's the only available property in the county. These rules can't be implemented hard and fast they need to look at it as case by case.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    GWST: Given that social rents are already ridiculously low, I fail to see why making somoene pay for their spare room is such a terrible ordeal.

    Define "low". To someone on JSA it isn't low. The very fact that people are in receipt of HB suggests that they income isn't excessive. Let's also not forget who actually benefits from HB, landlords.

    Perhaps if there was a decent social housing programme which actually catered for the nation's needs then this policy would be acceptable. Problem is that less than 10% of those affected by this policy will be able to be housed in smaller premises, not because they don't want to move but because the alternative just doesn't exist in sufficient quantity.

    You complain about the high cost of rent in London. Why is that the case? Simple market economics of course... Lower capacity than demand. It's the same equation which undermines this policy. The rent for smaller houses will just increase as the demand increases... thus the saving will fail to accrue. Landlords won't be affected negatively in either scenario, if anything those letting smaller premises stand to gain.

    Alternatively the residents will just pick up the tab, leaving them less money to spend on anything else (food, clothing, utlities and yes, mobile phones and wifi)... that just means less income for those industries. It's not like people in receipt of HB have a massive amount of disposable income to start with.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    ShyBoy wrote: »
    and governments should not be in the business of sorting out who should have what, but merely tax the very minimum you need to in order to allow society to run unimpeded (e.g. Prevent war, keep law and order, etc.)

    That's what I like to believe.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I fail to see the issue. Everyone I speak to is unhappy with the current situation of large numbers of people doing nothing and still getting paid for it. I know there are people with valid reasons for not working, disability e.t.c. and long may they continue to be supported. But there is no Godly reason why anyone who is fit and healthy should be provided with a free house and free money when there are jobs available.
    What the government need to do is set the benefits level to be less attractive than even the most menial of job. There are lots of crops that need picking and toilets that need cleaning round my area, yet still I see 20 something lads making several round trips a day to the off licence before heading home to their rent paid house.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Whowhere wrote: »
    I fail to see the issue. Everyone I speak to is unhappy with the current situation of large numbers of people doing nothing and still getting paid for it. I know there are people with valid reasons for not working, disability e.t.c. and long may they continue to be supported. But there is no Godly reason why anyone who is fit and healthy should be provided with a free house and free money when there are jobs available.
    What the government need to do is set the benefits level to be less attractive than even the most menial of job. There are lots of crops that need picking and toilets that need cleaning round my area, yet still I see 20 something lads making several round trips a day to the off licence before heading home to their rent paid house.

    What is the level it should fall below? JSA would give me approximately 15-20% of an average salary (if i manage to not get sanctioned).

    Would you say 10% is an appropriate limit? I think you're fairly ridiculous honestly, we are talking about the poorest people well below a 'living wage' and the handouts people get, and people think that living this way is a preferable choice to a decent income and self respect?

    Go to Grimsby and tell them there are plenty of jobs. Or Hull. Or Middlesborough. You won't, because you know there aren't any.

    Ridiculous.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Don't get me wrong I think the Conservatives are going to get punished at the next election, but they won't be wiped out. I foresee UKIP "potentially" picking up seats in areas with low Labour support in 2010, but Labour ultimately benefiting if they're close to LDs/Conservatives (especially Conservatives) as the UKIP protest vote takes away the chance of a Tory victory.

    I could see us having to deal with another coalition, or a very slim Labour majority. It could go either way, and could likely have been decisive if Labour hadn't been one of the most inept oppositions in the history of something or other.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    G-Raffe wrote: »
    I could see us having to deal with another coalition, or a very slim Labour majority. It could go either way, and could likely have been decisive if Labour hadn't been one of the most inept oppositions in the history of something or other.

    The history of current parliament. Let's not forget that one of the most unpopular PMs in history (Brown) and a very supportive media *still* couldn't get Cameron a majority. That's pretty embarrassing for him.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    A similar level of embarrassment in some polls that say Labour as well ahead of the Conservative party overall, but Ed Balls/Miliband are well behind on polls specifically about the economy?

    However as we all know, if you pick and choose the specific answers you want, then you'll get the answer you want; it still remains that Labour are head in most overall polls. I think we are in an interesting place where Labour came in 1997 with a landslide but it very well may be a long time before we see another one.

    I'm still shocked that the coalition has lasted this long, more so because of the history of coalitions in the UK. I'm dubious if another one will last as long. There is the trouble that if things split the way I imagine they might, the next Parliament will get nothing passed and when it comes to 2020 the whole premise will be an even bigger bitching session of "but he started it with the economy" compared to "yeah but they're austerity made it bad and impossible for us".
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Maybe could be time for a national government. After all, the parties are not fighting on party lines anymore, it's all about serving their paymasters once in office.

    But despite polls being a 'wet finger in the wind', polling figures are more often accurate than not. With the lead labour has (and the lead this translates to in how the constituencies break down), I would say they're a fair bet to take a majority. We are a long way off now though, so plenty could change.

    The problem is with the 'safe' position labour are in, they don't feel they have to make anything happen. So they will just preserve their political capital and be a general pain in opposition rather than an effective bullshitometer for the government. The government has the need to make something happen, but has its hands tied by the potential for infighting (Camerons leadership is looking a lot less safe than Eds for example). So the best they're going to do is sit and wait.. If the economy picks up decently in the next two years then they can say they delivered and it *might* be enough. If it doesn't, the cabinet have secured themselves an extremely comfortable retirement already so it wouldn't be a bad time for a holiday.

    Was reading on the financial times the other day that even though this is one of the most right wing governments of modern times in its unashamed attack on the public services or what Osborne refers to as the 'client state' (e.g. People paid out of the public purse will naturally vote labour so he is trying to cut that number and replace them with private ventures), the backbenchers insist a further lurch to the right is needed.

    It's like captaining a sinking ship and having to make tough decisions about rationing less water to the old and weak (because they contribute less to repairs), but with your officers grumbling and saying you should just shoot the lot of them and be done with the drain on the resources.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Disregarding whether fast cuts or stimulation is the right answer, I honestly think that it will be a benefit of hindsight moment in a few years. I imagine that whatever the state of the economy come 2015, if it recovers to any significant degree then Labour may well take credit for it, if it doesn't then they can blame the Tories to their hearts content (would you expect anything else?).

    What I found interesting about some of the stats from the last election, some areas where support had traditionally been strong labour, saw massive movements towards the Lib Dems or the Tories. Others that were hit and miss saw little movement at all (and vice versa for both situations). From one situation I could argue that the stronger the Labour support, the larger numbers of those likely to vote in another direction did so, or failed to vote, though I could argue it both ways.

    I can understand why Labour are playing it safe, they do need to build a solid base and at this point begin to build it fast, but they also need to peak at the right time and hope that the economy has recovered a little bit but not too much. Otherwise a regrouping of the Tories may well be able to push through a majority in 2020.

    With the weird and wonderful polling stats I often see, I wonder if we are indeed moving towards a less party based situation. Perhaps we already have and its the obsession with party politics that is holding something up as far stronger than it actually is. Commentators often say that the weakness of the Tory party is the number of back bench rebels they have, though perhaps that is their strength as they could be better reflecting the wills of the majority of their constituents and not the party as a whole.

    I agree with the point about Ed Miliband and his leadership, though whilst its a safer bet I think its important to point out that its not necessarily more substantial or solid. People see the recent departure of David Miliband as a gift to Ed in that it detracts from any brotherly arguments. The fact remains though that Ed is a trade union man, the party and the parliamentarians chose Dave.

    There is the distinct possibility that should trade unions start undertaking anything near a general strike in protest at Tory reforms, then some people effected by the action of the strikes might lead to some loss in support for the trade unions, the very people who put Ed in power. The trouble with the trade unions is that whilst they are a powerful tool for their members, many of their members don't vote for strikes and don't want to go on strikes yet the threat still remains. If anything the trade unions are good for the people on the ground in a specific workplace, but at higher levels are bad for anything other than the union masters.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    G-Raffe wrote: »

    There is the distinct possibility that should trade unions start undertaking anything near a general strike in protest at Tory reforms, then some people effected by the action of the strikes might lead to some loss in support for the trade unions, the very people who put Ed in power. The trouble with the trade unions is that whilst they are a powerful tool for their members, many of their members don't vote for strikes and don't want to go on strikes yet the threat still remains. If anything the trade unions are good for the people on the ground in a specific workplace, but at higher levels are bad for anything other than the union masters.

    Trade union strikes don't usually affect the general public so much... By law unions have to give certain notice to employers before taking any industrial actions and employers deal with things accordingly. For example, they can rig the systems to pay benefits so that payments gonout automatically (like they would with adverse weather or on weekends).

    When we had joint strike action with teaching and civil service unions, in Lambeth at least, facilities were set up to look after kids whose parents may not be able to get away from work.

    As for voting... Members receive ballot papers in the post and it's kinda their responsibility to vote yes or no. Strike turn outs tend to be a lot higher than viting turn outs, which reflects what people want. I can't say which government department I work for, but we have closed offices through good strike turnouts before.

    I agree that higher up in unions, there are issues and some people up there tend to forget that THEY work on behalf of the members. Unison for example has had issues with internal democracy and has expelled people for questioning the top committee on what motions were heard. They produced a leaflet with the three wise monkeys on it and because one of the committee is black, they got expelled for "racism".

    Oh and I think the public often do support the unions. At least in my experience. :)
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    A quick search reveals there are 97 vacancies in Grimsby and the surrounding area, 293 in Hull and 384 in Middlesbrough.

    You fail to address the thing that annoys me and quite a lot of other people, and that is of fit and healthy people, perfectly capable of doing any work there is but instead going out and spending my money on beer and fags and then going back and sitting in their rent free house.

    I have absolutely no issue with supporting people who are unable to work for whatever the reason. I am, and will continue to remain fucked off with people who leech off the rest of us.
    Until you can give a good answer as to why I should be happy about working all hours god sends only to see a 1/5th of it disappear in tax and then another 40% in mortgage and bill payments whilst other people can spend their days loafing around doing fuck all then i will reserve the right to be fucked off.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Whowhere wrote: »
    You fail to address the thing that annoys me and quite a lot of other people, and that is of fit and healthy people, perfectly capable of doing any work there is but instead going out and spending my money on beer and fags and then going back and sitting in their rent free house.

    I have absolutely no issue with supporting people who are unable to work for whatever the reason. I am, and will continue to remain fucked off with people who leech off the rest of us.
    Until you can give a good answer as to why I should be happy about working all hours god sends only to see a 1/5th of it disappear in tax and then another 40% in mortgage and bill payments whilst other people can spend their days loafing around doing fuck all then i will reserve the right to be fucked off.

    I agree. I see people on benefits who live lifestyles you wouldn't believe. What annoys me is that the goverment hasn't targeted these people really. The first wave of cuts has hit the poorest and most vulnerable.

    I've seen a lot of comments on the bedroom tax. I think what people are forgetting is when people were originnally housed by the councils the rules were different. If someone has been made homeless they are often put in thr first available property. My first council property was a two bedroom and I eas a single person, but I was put there because that was what was available at the time. The bedroom tax has caused a shortage of one bedroom properties, so even for people with spare bedrooms who are prepared to move, they can't, and this is what annoys me. They have essentially been trapped and now have to pay this extra when they have little. For the record the amount of council tax ee now have to pay is 27%, one of the highest rates in the UK. Add to this the fact that I am a full time carer trying to do a bit part time to top up (all above board, the DWP knows this) and my husband has been classed as fit to work because he can walk more than 20 feet on a good day. On bad days he can't walk. He is more or less bed bound and is on a borderline dangerous amount of morphine to control pain. He cannot walk properly and cannot feel his legs. He also has to get up and stretch every 10-20 minutes to stop his back seizing up. He is lucky to get a decent nights sleep once a month and is on 7 different tablets a day to help with blood pressure to stop him having a stroke, to control pain and to counteract the contraindications all the drugs give.

    I understand the argument here I have seen "why not assess people regularly". Let me tell you why this is a bad idea. Many dsiabled people have chronic disabilites. My husband's back will never improve. It only gets worse and I worry that soon the day will come when he can't make the stairs, as sometimes it takes upwards of 15 minutes for him to climb them on his backside in an undignified way. His condition has gotten worse since he was first awarded DLA. We have a mobility car that helps for shopping, otherwise my husband would barely get out of the house at all.

    We had an Atos assessment at home a few weeks ago as my husband isn't mobile enough to make it to the testing centre. The man who assessed him spent less than 15 minutes asking him questions. He spent more time picking his nose than looking at my husband. He filled in the forms and asked him to raise his legs and walk back and forth. Visibly in agony, even then the assessor didn't actually watch what he was doing.

    A few weeks later and we got our decision. He's perfectly fit to work! So the DLA has stopped, the carers allowance has stopped and I'm now working 50+ hours a week and unable to care for him like I shoild be as I am now desperately trying to raise money to buy a vehicle. We don't know when they will take the car but it's vital for us as he needs to be able to get down to the shops and chemists. I cannot physically carry all of the food and items we need on adaily basis and I ccan't afford to get a taxi or the bus. I now have zero income and his is limited. Of course we are contesting it, and herein lies my point. These assessments cost money. As do tribunals. You're damn right we'll be going to court on this one. Over 85% of tribunals in our area have been overturned. Atos have a little form they fill in, and it's not fair. People who can basically breathe are being seen as fitto work and it's disgraceful. People have even been forced into work and died from it (a family was on the news about this several months ago). They have made the changes so strict that those who are disabled and cannot work sre being deemed as fit, and this is wrong. The stress it is causing is actively making disabilities worse and the fact that anyone who has the guts to stand up and fight the government to go to tribunal shows that the courts are generally not in favour of the decisions Atos is making.

    If the government was stricter on supposed long term "job seekers" who don't bother to look for work they would undoubtedly save more. Dispatches recently did an amusing yet worrying experiment where they got a job seeker to fill in their shopping list on the job search. The form wasn't even checked and their JSA continued despite them making no attempt to find work. Another emailed a company begging not to be employed, saying how terrible they would be and wouldn't bother turning up if they were employed. They got signed off and continued to receive JSA too.

    I do not condone abuse of the system, but statistics (also on dispatches) have shown that 0.5% of those on DLA are screwing it. That's a tiny figure compared to those on JSA who are abusing the system. The government has targeted the wrong people and has made the most vulnerable worse off. Instead of focusing on the disabled and those with a spare bedroom perhaps they should be focusing more on the laughably overstretched system that is the job centre, where staff simply don't have the time to check whether people are actually seeking work, and many who sign on make up their job search ten minutes prior to going into the job centre, knowing that whatever they decide to write, it won't be properly checked.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    We had an Atos assessment at home a few weeks ago as my husband isn't mobile enough to make it to the testing centre. The man who assessed him spent less than 15 minutes asking him questions. He spent more time picking his nose than looking at my husband. He filled in the forms and asked him to raise his legs and walk back and forth. Visibly in agony, even then the assessor didn't actually watch what he was doing.

    A few weeks later and we got our decision. He's perfectly fit to work!

    Worth noting that, to date, over 1,700 people deemed "fit to work" by Atos have died of their condition within weeks of the assessment. Atos isn't about assessing people, it's about the Govt finding ways to cut the bill. Bet your arse there are targets attached to Atos reducing the number of people on DLA etc.

    What annoys me about this debate is the very barrow nature of it. No-one, on here, has highlighted the black market aspects of the "lifestyle" which you condemn those on "benefits" for living, no one has considered how much of that is based on criminal behaviour not associated with benefits. No one has considered that people are managing their budget which means that there are things which they don't do (such as feed and clothe themselves/kids properly) so that they can have their alcohol/cigarettes.

    It sickens me that there are so many assumptions being made here about who is on benefits and what their actual lifestyle is. I'm sure that, given the choice, you would all happily live on the same level of income - as it seems to fund such a wonderful lifestyle.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I had to have help to get off the sofa when I had my DLA atos assessment and I was in so much pain, I told him I couldn't move my arms any higher without hurting myself. He didn't ask me to walk so couldn't really assess my mobility - thus why I got turned down for it. I'm taking it to appeal (and probably tribunal after that), but they don't seem to realise how much added stress it puts on people. I should be getting at least middle rate care because I'm having to have help with my basic needs, but it seems the only way I'm going to get help with those being met is if I keep going through this gruelling 6 week assessment process with social services basically watching me struggle in vast amounts of pain twice a day. I'm glad I'm half way through but it's making me more ill than helping me. The benefit changes and atos' incompetence dictate pretty much all my day to day living. I wish there was more that i could do to get a bit more control over my day to day life, but I don't see what there is I can do. Anyway that's my rant over for the day.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    ATOS are nothing more than the hired help who will do what they're told. I know people who were retired on ill health by ATOS only for them to be found fit for work after an ATOS assessment. The thing to remember is that ATOS don't make the decision though, the DWP do. ATOS are just the fall guys. Though they intended to be so, given they fund Government to treat the disabled as they do. They also fund the opposition with similar amounts of money, oddly enough.

    There is a stated policy aim that PIP will mean 500,000 people currently entitled to DLA will no longer be.

    ATOS medicals are typically carried out by some Nigerian doctor with little English and an understanding that he'll be sacked (and therefore deported) if he's too kind. ATOS, even more tellingly, are French.

    It's easy to be distracted by party politics. The trouble is that we all know Ed Balls is as big a cunt as Gideon the Gak Snorter. They're all cunts, all 650 of them, and the polls will recognise this. At least the Tories don't pretend to be the party of the people. I prefer their honesty to Labour's lies. Labour will do exactly the same thing because they are exactly the same. And Ed Balls is a cunt.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Worth noting that, to date, over 1,700 people deemed "fit to work" by Atos have died of their condition within weeks of the assessment. Atos isn't about assessing people, it's about the Govt finding ways to cut the bill. Bet your arse there are targets attached to Atos reducing the number of people on DLA etc.

    What annoys me about this debate is the very barrow nature of it. No-one, on here, has highlighted the black market aspects of the "lifestyle" which you condemn those on "benefits" for living, no one has considered how much of that is based on criminal behaviour not associated with benefits. No one has considered that people are managing their budget which means that there are things which they don't do (such as feed and clothe themselves/kids properly) so that they can have their alcohol/cigarettes.

    It sickens me that there are so many assumptions being made here about who is on benefits and what their actual lifestyle is. I'm sure that, given the choice, you would all happily live on the same level of income - as it seems to fund such a wonderful lifestyle.

    I understand where you're coming from and that not everyone on benefits screws the system. I don't. Maybe I didn't make my experiences clear enough, because the benefit cheats I speak of are not the majority, but they are out therw in bigger numbers than you may think.

    My experience is not on assumption, it's first hand. Being a catalogue distributor there are several council estates I deliver to, one of which being Kirkholt, recebtly given the title of the second most deprived council area in Europe. The first, Falinge is also not far from me, though I don't deliver there. I also deliver to people in Langley. In Langley, the majority of my customers are jn council properties, and a lot of them work or are out of work for various reasons. Kirkholt, on the other hand....I can think realistically of about 5% of my customers there that work. I used to live on the estate and moved away due to antisocial behaviour, which the estate is well known for. The majority of people on that estate actively choose not to work. The crime rates rates are ridiculously high. We got broken into three times in less than six months. Our next door neighbour was a single Mother of two who's on-off partner sold counterfeit meat and produce off the bsck of a lorry. Or "over bought stock" as he called it. The lady next door has young children, so fair enough she could be excused for not seeking work given the age of her children. But having parties every night till 3-4am, smoking tailor made cigarettes all day snd sleeping during the day while leaving her two children to play unattended in the garden was not acceptable. We had to tell her kids to go back into the house as they often wandered into the road. The young girl wasn't even three years old. We contacted social services but evey time they came to her house she didn't answer and so they seemed powerless to help.

    On another, rougher part of the estate I have a friend. I asked her one day how many dealers she knew in the area (knowing that many on the estate are small time drug dealers to fuel their lifestyles) and she counted ten within two roads of her flat. More or less every time you go through this part of the estate there are peolple drinking and partying in broad daylight. Mid afternoon. These are the people I am talking about. I have seen them, spoken to them. They laugh in the face of the government and welfare system and actively avoid work. This is what gets me so angry when there are so many that JSA, ESA and DLA are a lifeline for.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Sorry for the atrocious spelling, my phone doesn't auto-correct. Miss Riot, keep fighting them. You know you are in the right even when they try and say you are not. And Arctic Roll I conpletely agree. That's one of the reasons my husband and I are leaving the country ASAP. We are getting out ss we can't stand the constant incompetence of the idiots and career politicians who laughably think they know how to run the country. They're in it for themselves. It's obvious, but people still blindly vote Conservative or Labour in the majority. My husband is UKIP now. I personally am a floating voter. I don't know where my next vote will be, if we are even in the country when it happens.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Whowhere wrote: »
    A quick search reveals there are 97 vacancies in Grimsby and the surrounding area, 293 in Hull and 384 in Middlesbrough.

    I don't know how to convey this to you, but those areas are struggling massively. The problem is when you look at people who are ready, eager, motivated to get into work but struggle. I believe you can do a quick search for any area and find 'self employed sales manager' positions. There will always be some availability for work as this is necessary to allow people to move between jobs etc. Which can be referred to as 'slack'.

    You really need to look at the ratio of unemployed to available positions in a given time frame to get an understanding. Hull has around 50 JSA claimants for each available job. This does not account for under employment, or people who don't sign on, or people who have been sanctioned repeatedly. There have been numerous reviews of the situation in Hull, not even George Osborne would say 'there are jobs available, people just don't want them'.

    For comparison, London has 2.3 jobseekers / vacancy and bristol has 2.9 jobseekers / vacancy.
    You fail to address the thing that annoys me and quite a lot of other people, and tha t is of fit and healthy people, perfectly capable of doing any work there is but instead going out and spending my money on beer and fags and then going back and sitting in their rent free house.

    There are two things to address here. Firstly is there is the reality check. Does this happen? Yea it does and will. But any system is open to abuse, the only way to avoid this is to remove the system, is this preferable? If no, then we have to accept abuse as a necessary evil. Less than 1% of benefit claims are fraudulent. As for the rest, those who 'can't be bothered' such as George Osborne frequently likes to portray them are irrelevant at this moment in time.

    As an example, the economy consists of 20 workers. 10 are employed full time, happy. Two are retired. One is sick. Three are underemployed and the other 4 are employed. Of those four, two can't be bothered. But they don't matter right now because there are the three underemployed and the two 'willing' unemployed who are desperate for work. They will fill the next available full time 'happy' job as soon as they can.

    Secondly, there is the problem of envy and what we feel is fair. We all feel this. There are people who work half as hard as me who get paid twice as much, and others that work twice as hard who get paid half as much. The salaries we receive aren't about how hard we work, but how valuable we are. Obsessing over the unfairness - someone receiving £50 a week for doing nothing and being given free accommodation in a homeless hostel - will only make you unhappy and feed into the political machine. This is what they want you to feel. They want you to feel we are a nation of strivers and shirkers. You know you have done the right thing, remember that most people in benefits are already in work, just can't get the hours they need. It's no easy life on welfare.

    The free houses you talk about are given to people with families because we don't make children homeless in this country. That's the policy choice for you.
    I have absolutely no issue with supporting people who are unable to work for whatever the reason. I am, and will continue to remain fucked off with people who leech off the rest of us.
    Until you can give a good answer as to why I should be happy about working all hours god sends only to see a 1/5th of it disappear in tax and then another 40% in mortgage and bill payments whilst other people can spend their days loafing around doing fuck all then i will reserve the right to be fucked off.

    I didn't say you couldn't be annoyed. I said that thinking people prefer benefits to paid work is ridiculous. You have the right to be upset about the cost of your mortgage. I don't see what that has to do with social housing tenants though compared to a chronic undersupply of housing?

    I think you demonstrate actually the divide and rule maxim. Everyone is suffering, nobody is getting off scott free. Yet most of the culpability seems to fall in the hands of the disenfranchised. The easy targets. As arctic says, it's the cunting MPs who should take responsibility, but they won't.

    As for your tax btw, after tax was averaged out, you spend £2.2k on pensions (which are rising) a year, and £143 on jobseekers. So probably paying £1.40 a year on fraudulent JSA claimants.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    One viewpoint which is more elegant and concise than myself:

    http://bit.ly/S2t4lP
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    My husband is UKIP now. I personally am a floating voter. I don't know where my next vote will be, if we are even in the country when it happens.

    That's an odd way to vote for a person who's planning to move within the EU. The only reason that is possible is because of Britain being part of it...


    Incidentally. DLA fraud was last measured at 0.5%... it's a non-number almost. Tax Evasion and Avoidance are real problems though.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I'd be interested to see how they're calculating the percentages of fraudulent benefit claims. Specifically, how they've converted the benefit fraud they don't know about into statistics. I'm not saying it's likely higher or lower than 1%... just how you start turning known unknowns into hard numbers screams "danger Will Robinson", to me at least.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Part of the problem is the way we as a nation seem to think of "benefits" as one thing. Where in fact there's DLA, JSA, Housing, ESA, Child Support, you could have many or none at a range of values. And the fraud values can change for each bit of benefit things.

    I read the DLA fraud percentage from the Tourettes Hero blog
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I'd be interested to see how they're calculating the percentages of fraudulent benefit claims. Specifically, how they've converted the benefit fraud they don't know about into statistics. I'm not saying it's likely higher or lower than 1%... just how you start turning known unknowns into hard numbers screams "danger Will Robinson", to me at least.

    I suppose that's true. I think the larger point is in general is that a rhetoric of lazy, thieving scroungers currently dominates the UK political discourse when the reality is not so close to that. I mean, it's the same with any politics really isn't it?

    I just wish there was a third 'bullshitometer' in politics (e.g. What a free press is supposed to do) that would sound a 'en errr' from family fortunes every time osborne starts going on about people lying in bed comfortably as the poor bedraggled workers grumble to work.

    I think the thing I dislike most about that politics is its essentially bullying. You find the weak and easy target and you scapegoat them without saying it directly so you can't be held to account.

    Just 21st century politics though isn't it? Whether it's the bankers or the poor, it's more about a story you can spin about why your voters have been ripped off than about actually looking at the best policies.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Also, some benefits, that are being cut, are there to HELP people get to work. DLA (being switched out for PIP) is paid to support independent living despite a visible or invisible disability, without it, some people would have to stop going to work. Bizarre to cut it by 20 odd %
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    As was mentioned earlier in this thread, some of the living the life of riley off the state may very well be down to the "black market economy" in any given area. The money in some cases might not be coming from the state. Ironically perhaps higher benefits might reduce crime and black economy in such areas. It's an interesting dynamic to target.
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