Labour's over - now get back to work

The last Labour government were often accused of building a gigantic welfare state, creating vast armies of dependents, but until they were hounded from office, and someone else could go through the books, we didn't know to what extent.

Well, we do now, and guess what? It's to a fucking huge extent.

According to a report from the Department for Work and Pensions, over 50,000 households were allowed to claim benefits worth over £26,000 a year. The average Briton is paid £25,500 annually. For fuck's sake.

Of course, to screw all that cash out of the state, two adults in a family would have to claim incapacity benefits, council tax benefit and housing benefit. But, hey, why wouldn't they? It's all there, a lovely big pot of money to delve into. Help yourselves! Just don't try to lift to many bundles of notes at once, you might make that bad back worse.

They'd also have to have three or more children, and claim child benefit and tax credits. But again, why the fuck not? Why not have 3,4, 5, fuck it, 10 children, if the state is going to automatically provide additional teats for them suckle on?

Don't you remember this woman? The one who had 11 - yes, eleven - kids, by five different blokes over 25 years, and for virtually all of that time lived on benefits? The one who costs us 39 grand a year? The one who considers us spending 80 quid a month on mobile phones and 55 quid a month on Sky is merely providing her with "essentials". Remember her?

Well, we know now that there are tens of thousands out there exactly like her. Dear God.

The bad news rolls on and on: the report also disclosed the amount of public money spent on housing benefit rose by nearly 40 per cent in 2009/10, to £14.2billion. Sweet Jesus, 14.2 billion pounds, just to provide these 'not-workers' with somewhere to sit and watch Sky Sports on their plasmas.

And there's more: for a couple of years, all new claimants for incapacity benefit have been given medicals to see if they able to go to work. Guess what? Nine out of 10 new - also known as 'nearly all' - applicants were either fit for work or could be "moved towards rejoining the workforce".

These same tests have not yet been carried out on the existing 2.6 million incapacity benefits claimants. So there's probably well over 2 million people who need to stop pretending to have a bad back (Monday to Friday only -football at the weekend), and get their arses back to work.

Fucking hell, Coalition, you've got a job to do here.

Better get on with it...



JuliaM said...

You'd better not read Johann Hari's whine in today's 'Indy' about the awful cuts about to be made by those wicked rich bastard Tories. Or like me, the temptation to put your fist through the monitor screen might be too much...

Sent by Julia's iPhone

Anonymous said...

It about time that someone produced the figures of the true unemployment rate under Labour by taking into account those conviniently on incapacity benefits. The figure would be close to 6 million. Add to this all those pretendy students doing pretenty courses at pretendy universities simply to keep them off the figures.

Jill said...

But this lot just won't be able to do anything about it, CF. Because the only answer is to punish/withdraw opportunity from the children. And it's not socially acceptable - I personally don't think it's acceptable, but even if you do, it just won't happen. You can't have children starving because benefits have been withdrawn from feckless parents. You can't forcibly remove children from parents and take them into state care, even if they are feckless. And it wouldn't be cheaper anyway.

I dunno what you do for generational benefit dependency, but whatever it is you *do* do, this government won't do it.

Antisthenes said...

What you do Jill is roll back welfare benefits gradually but roll it back and roll it back until it becomes the option of last resort.

JuliaM said...

Jill:" Because the only answer is to punish/withdraw opportunity from the children."

You don't think that allowing these people to breed their own human shields and thereby remain safe is a bit of a bad idea..?

Anonymous said...

@ Jill
"You can't have children starving because benefits have been withdrawn from feckless parents."
You really think children would 'starve' if the family income was at around £15k and they live in subsidised housing?

If so, why did the Labour government set their minimum wage so low, and why did they remove the 10p tax band?

Jill said...

Julia: but that's what I'm saying. Whatever yours and my views - different as they are - no government is going to be able to: a) consign children to incomeless households; b) forcibly remove to state care children whose parents have had benefits removed; c) forcibly sterilise feckless parents.

So it's a moot point.

Anonymous: eh? I'm not sure what you are saying. I'm saying that any "attack" on the feckless/disadvantaged (delete as your bias) by this government and as droolingly anticipated by right wing/libertarian blogs is going to be all words and no real action - largely because it is socially unacceptable to punish children for the sins of their parents. That's not um... a party political point. I'm just saying that Tory supporters' excitement is doomed to tooth-grinding disappointment.

We could talk about the minimum wage all you like - I personally don't see the point of one if it's not a living wage, and why we moan about subsidising the feckless when all the minimum wage does is subsidise a different social group, employers, and *depress* wages is a mystery to me. But it's not germane to this issue.

Actual proper workfare might work - but I wouldn't support it and I can't see it being acceptable.

Otherwise, I fear this debate is, as it's always been, largely pointless given the society in which we live. Growth and good, well-paid, jobs are, as far as I can see, the only real way to create that difference between work and benefits dependency. So, as I've said on here before, rather than look at the Coalition's benefits and other cost-saving plans, we should all be looking at how they're going to create jobs. And don't tell me austerity packages create jobs, because they do not.

Constantly Furious said...

Because the only answer is to punish/withdraw opportunity from the children. And it's not socially acceptable

If the 'punishment' consists of the poor cheeeldren not having a mobile phone, and not having Sky - both of which were provided to the '11 kids, not worked for 25 years' woman I blogged about - then I for one would find it highly 'acceptable'.


AntiCitizenOne said...

Jill is obviously extremely economically confused. the "minimum wage" is just the level of productivity below which the government insists you must be unemployed. Nothing more. It's not a subsidy to employers.

Disenfranchised of Buckingham said...

I agree with AntiCitizenOne. The minimum wage is the level where we would rather employ child labour in India to manufacture our goods rather than our own people. This of course is so women can buy cheeep clothes and dispose of them after a couple of weeks. All so that they can have shopping therapy!

We also prefer to steal our doctors and nurses from the poorer countries where they are needed rather than train our own.

The proper solution is workfare paid in food and clothing stamps not in money. And the children of the feckless should leave school at 14 and rehabilitated in apprenticeships before they disrupt the eductation of their peers.

Dioclese said...

When my wife's ex buggered off and left her saddled with a baby and no income, she did WHATEVER IT TOOK to put food on the table and keep a roof over their heads.

When I read about some of the hard luck stories from these scrounging bastards, I say let 'em starve - or get off their lazy fat arses and do what she had to do. They dont know the meaning of the word desperate! They should be ashamed...

AntiCitizenOne said...

I'm not sure that Nurses and Doctors voluntarily coming to the U.K. for their benefit is stealing...

I was not aware that national governments owned it's citizens.

Also better for a child to work in a factory, than the alternative on a subsistence farm...

Disenfranchised of Buckingham said...

ACO, last I heard the NHS actively recruits in the poorer parts of the world. It is not as simple as doctors turning up in the UK looking for work. To my mind recruiting in India, Sri Lanka etc is a form of neo colonialism.

I have no problem with children working in third world economies. I was just pointing out that the minimum wage was encouraging this by sending UK jobs abroad.

Some people aren't worth £5 or £4 or even £3 an hour. At £2 you might employ them to lean on a broom.

AntiCitizenOne said...

Fair enough. I just thought you were heading into a case of wishful thinking about non-existent alternatives. Obviously not.

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