Tory Ideology is all about Handouts to the Wealthy paid for by the Poor
By Kittysjones, previously published here
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.
The following cuts came into force in April 2013:
- 1 April – Housing benefit cut, including the introduction of the ‘bedroom tax’1 April – Council tax benefit cut
- 1 April – Legal Aid savagely cut
- 6 April – Tax credit and child benefit cut
- 7 April – Maternity and paternity pay cut
- 8 April – 1 per cent cap on the rise of in working-age benefits (for the next three years)
- 8 April – Disability living allowance replaced by personal independence payment (PIP)
- 15 April – Cap on the total amount of benefit working-age people can receive