Here is yet another great Tory lie exposed – “Making work pay”. This Government have raided our tax-funded welfare provision and used it to provide handouts to the very wealthy – £107, 000 EACH PER YEAR in the form of a tax cut for millionaires. The Conservatives claim that it is “unfair” that people on benefits are “better off” than those in work. But the benefit cuts are having a dire impact on workers as well.
People in work, especially those who are paid low wages, often claim benefits. Housing benefit, tax credit and council tax benefit are examples of benefits that are paid to people with jobs. Indeed the number of working people claiming housing benefit has risen by 86 per cent in three years, which debunks another Tory myth that benefits are payable only to the “feckless” unemployed.
By portraying housing benefit as a payment for “the shirkers”, not “the strivers”, Cameron and Osborne aim to convince the public that their draconian, unprecedented welfare “reforms” are justified. 60% of people visiting food banks last year were in work. But unemployment benefits are just 13 per cent of the national average earnings. What Cameron’s Government have done is created extreme hardship for many of those in work, and further severe hardship for those who are unemployed.
“Making work pay” is a big lie that has benefited no-one but the very wealthy, and the reduction in the value and amount of welfare support has come at a time when we are witnessing steady reductions in worker’s rights, and worryingly, the Tory-led Government is stepping up its attack on employment health and safety regulations.
Last week, on the 25th April 2013, the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill was granted royal assent, bringing into law the Government’s widely unpopular proposals to scrap employers’ 114-year-old liability for their staff’s health and safety in the workplace. This steady erosion of our fundamental and hard-earned rights in the workplace is linked to the steady erosion of the basic human rights of the vulnerable. The Government have liberated wealthy private companies of any moral or legal responsibilities, so that they can simply generate vast profits by exploiting workers who have increasingly fewer means of redress.
There is also a growing reserve army of labour that may be exploited via the workfare schemes. This will mean that unscrupulous, greedy, profit-driven employers will increasingly replace paid workers with unpaid ones that are forced to work for their benefits or face losing them. This is a politically enforced program of reducing the populations expectations regarding choice, opportunities, rights, and quality of life.
A recent proposal from our “caring Conservatives” is that new in-work claimants should be required to attend an initial interview at a Job Centre “where a conditionality regime should be set up to ensure the individual is doing all they can to increase their hours and earnings”. Claimants “should then be forced to attend a quarterly meeting to be reminded of their responsibility to try to increase their earnings”, with sanctions applied for failing to attend. This may well be the next stage of the welfare “reforms”, incorporating a punitive approach to those in work, as well as those unfortunate enough to be out of work.
There is no absolutely no evidence, sense or logic behind the Tory claim that cutting welfare will “make work pay”. Well, unless we are referring to the greedy employers that will benefit and profit from the welfare reforms and reduction in worker’s rights.Our work will pay, for them.
“Make work pay” is an entirely ideologically driven, dogmatic, absurd and reductionist Conservative superficial sound-bite. There is certainly an essence of all that is Tory in “peremptory”. There is also many a Tory donor in private business that wants to see more profit and a more abject workforce.
The real “culture of entitlement” is not to be found amongst the poor, the unemployed, the sick and disabled as this Government would have you believe. As a matter of fact, most amongst this politically demarcated social group have paid tax and paid for the provision that they ought to be able to rely on when they/we have need of it, it’s ours, after all. The real culture of entitlement comes from the very wealthy, and is well-fed and sustained by our aristocratic and authoritarian Government.
Every time we have periods of high unemployment, growing inequalities, substantial increases in poverty, and loss of protective rights, there is a Conservative Administration behind this wilful destruction of people’s lives, and the unravelling of essential social progress and civilised development that spans more than one century in ontogeny and maturation.
The Conservatives lied about our “generous welfare”. It wasn’t and it certainly isn’t now. Coming at the same time that severe cuts to tax credits and benefits are set to make an estimated 11.5 million households poorer, the Chancellor was accused by Britain’s largest union, Unite of conducting class war on the poor while giving handouts to the rich.
15 April – Cap on the total amount of benefit working-age people can receive
In addition, wages have not risen in real terms since 2003 and there are further fears that the Government is trying to pressurise the Low Pay Commission into cutting the national minimum wage from its present £6.19 per hour.
Commenting, general secretary Len McCluskey of Unite said: “Millionaires will be raising a glass of champagne to George Osborne this weekend as he slashes the incomes of people struggling to get by to give handouts to the rich.
“But ordinary people – taxpayers – will be furious that George Osborne has chosen to give away £1 billion to the super-rich while their fuel and food costs rise and wages are falling.
“His party knows no shame. They are trying to claim that their tax cuts benefit ordinary people but this is another lie – the truth is that while those earning over £1 million per year will be an average £100,000 better off, low income families will be around £900 worse off.
“This is not the way to recover our failing economy. Creating real jobs and paying decent wages, including a one pound increase on the minimum wage, will bring down the benefits bill and get people spending again.
“Instead of getting on with the job he ought to be doing, like sorting out the problems he has caused to our economy, Osborne prefers to encourage hatred and demonise the poor, both in and out of work, in an ideological attack on our welfare state.”
“David Cameron and George Osborne believe the only way to persuade millionaires to work harder is to give them more money.
But they also seem to believe that the only way to make you (ordinary people) work harder is to take money away.” Ed Miliband.
Bravo Ed, very well spotted contradiction regarding Cameron’s claims about how “incentives” work. Apparently, the rich are a different kind of human from the majority of human beings.
It’s plain to see that Cameron rewards his wealthy friends, and has a clear elitist agenda, whilst he funds his friends and sponsors by stealing money from the tax payer, by stripping welfare provision and public services down to bare bones.
A simple truth is that poverty happens because some people are very, very rich. That happens ultimately because of Government policies that create, sustain and extend inequalities. The very wealthy are becoming wealthier, the poor are becoming poorer. This is a consequence of ”vulture capitalism”, designed by the opportunism and greed of a few, it is instituted, facilitated and directed by the Tory-led Coalition.
Welfare provision was paid for by the public, via tax and NI contributions. It is not a “handout.” It is not the Governments money to cut. That is our provision, paid for by us to support us if and when we need it. It’s the same with the National Health Service. These public services and provisions do not and never did belong to the Government to sell off, make profit from, and strip bare as they have done
Low wages and low benefit levels, rising unemployment and a high cost of living are major causes of poverty. (“worklessness” is a made-up word to imply that the consequences of Government policies are somehow the fault of the victims of this traditional Tory harshness. It’s a psychological and linguistic attack on the vulnerable – blaming the unemployed for unemployment, and the poor for poverty.) Those are a consequence of Coalition policies. The Coalition take money from those who need it most to give away to those who need it least. That causes poverty. The Coalition are creating poverty via the consequences of policies.
It’s time to debunk the great myth of meritocracy. Wealth has got nothing whatsoever to do with “striving” and hard work. If it were so simple, then most of the poor would be billionaires by now.
This week it was reported that one school liaison officer told how a parent came to her pleading for help because her children were suffering from SCURVY – a potentially fatal condition caused by a severe Vitamin C deficiency. It’s an illness linked with malnutrition and poverty, and has seldom been seen in this Country for most of this Century, due to improvements in medical knowledge, and the development of adequate welfare provision that had eliminated absolute poverty in Britain. Until now. It’s increasing again.
Evil is “that which is moving against the tide of evolution” – Dion Fortune.
The clocks stopped the moment that the Tories took Office. Now their policies mean we are losing a decade a day.
Many thanks to Robert Livingstone for his brilliant art work.