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The impacts of the benefits "reform" implemented by the coalition


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#1 ckn

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Posted 30 May 2013 - 02:33 PM

http://www.guardian....ks-half-million

 

Well done to the Tories and Lib Dems for putting us back decades of social improvement.  It seems in some ways like they're trying to take us back to the 1930s, especially with their consistent meddling with the NHS that can only eventually lead to privatisation as the "only way to fix the endemic problems".

 

There's a reason why Labour can't sit back chirping from the sidelines on this: they caused to a travesty by outsourcing disability assessments to ATOS, deliberately and cynically targeting a weak point in society.  Not only has it destroyed lives and taken critical benefits away from those who most need them, it has allowed the Tory (and Lib Dem lapdogs) to shrug their shoulders and say "well, they implemented it, we're just continuing Labour social welfare policy".

 

Then there's the Workfare scandal where unemployed people are made to do essentially a full-time job for nothing beyond their benefits, it can work out that some people are being paid the equivalent of £1.78 per hour to "participate" in this.  Again, Labour did not oppose this policy at this year's votes in Parliament despite the minimum wage being a massive step forward under Blair.

 

So, who is there for me to turn to now?  I left Labour for the Lib Dems as they said they represented a good portion of my views.  Now the Lib Dems are quite comfortable in implementing all these attacks on the people they said they'd support.  The Greens are just too weird.  UKIP is a bit too far on the wrong side of the political divide for me.  Screaming Lord Sutch is no more and his party have suffered in his absence.  I'd rather use my ballot paper as toilet roll than vote BNP.  Respect, that's the ego party of Galloway and is nothing but a feed for his narcissism.  That leaves... no major party.  Also, no minor party.  No point in voting independent as they only get in on critical local causes and everywhere else they're ignored by the persistent party voters who'd vote for anyone wearing their party's rosette.  At no time ever as an adult have I felt less enfranchised, it seems no-one really wants my vote.


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#2 ckn

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Posted 30 May 2013 - 02:49 PM

Sorry, I stuck the wrong link at the top, it's still on the right subject but not the one I intended: http://www.guardian....mentary-inquiry

 

It's also worth highlighting this quote from it: 

The energy secretary, Ed Davey, told MPs this month it was "completely wrong to suggest there is some sort of statistical link between the benefit reforms we're making and the provision of food banks".

So, where else has the additional poverty come from that's making people go there?


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#3 gingerjon

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Posted 30 May 2013 - 02:58 PM

So, where else has the additional poverty come from that's making people go there?

 

It's all the scrounging.  Shirkers, y'see ...


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#4 Li0nhead

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Posted 30 May 2013 - 03:06 PM

We are still spending more than we take in taxes. 

Ok they should collect all owed taxes and close loopholes for certain companies but once that is done it leaves a stalk choice as to making up the shortfall.

Raise taxes.

Cut spending.

Or a mixture of the two.

 

Or the 4th choice of do nothing, keep spending at that rate and go bankrupt somewhere down the line. 



#5 gazza77

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Posted 30 May 2013 - 03:07 PM

http://www.guardian....ks-half-million

 

Well done to the Tories and Lib Dems for putting us back decades of social improvement.  It seems in some ways like they're trying to take us back to the 1930s, especially with their consistent meddling with the NHS that can only eventually lead to privatisation as the "only way to fix the endemic problems".

 

There's a reason why Labour can't sit back chirping from the sidelines on this: they caused to a travesty by outsourcing disability assessments to ATOS, deliberately and cynically targeting a weak point in society.  Not only has it destroyed lives and taken critical benefits away from those who most need them, it has allowed the Tory (and Lib Dem lapdogs) to shrug their shoulders and say "well, they implemented it, we're just continuing Labour social welfare policy".

 

Then there's the Workfare scandal where unemployed people are made to do essentially a full-time job for nothing beyond their benefits, it can work out that some people are being paid the equivalent of £1.78 per hour to "participate" in this.  Again, Labour did not oppose this policy at this year's votes in Parliament despite the minimum wage being a massive step forward under Blair.

 

So, who is there for me to turn to now?  I left Labour for the Lib Dems as they said they represented a good portion of my views.  Now the Lib Dems are quite comfortable in implementing all these attacks on the people they said they'd support.  The Greens are just too weird.  UKIP is a bit too far on the wrong side of the political divide for me.  Screaming Lord Sutch is no more and his party have suffered in his absence.  I'd rather use my ballot paper as toilet roll than vote BNP.  Respect, that's the ego party of Galloway and is nothing but a feed for his narcissism.  That leaves... no major party.  Also, no minor party.  No point in voting independent as they only get in on critical local causes and everywhere else they're ignored by the persistent party voters who'd vote for anyone wearing their party's rosette.  At no time ever as an adult have I felt less enfranchised, it seems no-one really wants my vote.

 Stand as an independent candidate?

 

What you outline for me shows many of the reasons that so much of the electorate are apathetic towards politics in general; there is no-one who actually reflects their views. Politics seems to be moving more towards a model of the elected few doing what they wish and trying to scrape together votes rather than gaining support by generating popular policies. I'm not suggesting that all politicical decisions ought to be based solely upon popularity, but that has at least to be the underlying basis for policy making.

 

As for the actual benefits issues, as with so many things in life, it's generally the few that spoil things for the many. Those that are claiming left, right and centre, and without real justificiation, create the headlines and reports that lead to cuts for all.


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#6 GeordieSaint

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Posted 30 May 2013 - 03:19 PM

Where are we actually at with the deficit now?


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#7 T Dub

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Posted 30 May 2013 - 03:29 PM

Where are we actually at with the deficit now?

National debt - http://www.debtbombshell.com/

#8 T Dub

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Posted 30 May 2013 - 03:31 PM

Deficit - http://www.debtbombs...get-deficit.htm ... still adding to the debt total Prudence left us with

#9 gazza77

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Posted 30 May 2013 - 03:33 PM

We are still spending more than we take in taxes. 

Ok they should collect all owed taxes and close loopholes for certain companies but once that is done it leaves a stalk choice as to making up the shortfall.

Raise taxes.

Cut spending.

Or a mixture of the two.

 

Or the 4th choice of do nothing, keep spending at that rate and go bankrupt somewhere down the line. 

 Reducing taxes could potentially lead to higher tax revenues.

Increasing spending could lead to higher tax revenues, which could more than offset the spending increase.

 

Or as you say, a mixture of things. It's all a bit of a mess still!


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#10 Steve May

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Posted 30 May 2013 - 04:52 PM

Then there's the Workfare scandal where unemployed people are made to do essentially a full-time job for nothing beyond their benefits, it can work out that some people are being paid the equivalent of £1.78 per hour to "participate" in this.  Again, Labour did not oppose this policy at this year's votes in Parliament despite the minimum wage being a massive step forward under Blair.

 

 

http://www.independe...le-8542193.html

 

Good article on just this point.

 

 

 

Owen Jones is both right and wrong here.  He's right to throw his efforts into opposing the government, but the actual best outcome for that will be moving the debate into something where Labour can do different things. 

 

I used to think that protesting was a waste of time because everything in the world is decided by sober looking men in suits.   But actually the protest opens up the space for the men in suits to talk about different things, and do different things. 

 

A great example of this is on tax, where there is a genuine debate going on about corporate responsibility.  When Ed Miliband talked about this stuff three years ago (and he did, you can look it up) he was dismissed as a lefty who would have been dangerous had he been at all relevant.  But thanks to years of campaigning by grimy looking people on the streets, it's now become an issue that is talked about in sensible places.  The discussion has moved, and it has moved leftwards.

 

Of course, the protesters will always be disappointed because they'll never get everything they want.  They are often young, almost always naive, but the smarter ones do understand the role they are playing.    The trick Labour has to perform is to move into the space that the protesters open up, without aligning themselves too closely to the protesters because that will frighten the voters too much.   It's a subtle game, not easy to pull off.

 

You don't seem like a protester type.  My suggestion to you is that you join Labour and get stuck in.  You'll find that the run of the mill Labour activist is pretty much where you are and the party hierarchy will not grow a backbone unless it's members do.   But I warn you, expect to be frustrated most of the time.


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#11 JohnM

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Posted 30 May 2013 - 04:54 PM

You're too gullible, CKN, by far.   :mellow:

 

In the complete absence of any Parliamentary opposition whatsoever, surely the warning bells must ring when the Guardian, - the star of the tax-avoiding GNM Group, The Dependent,  Oxfam - who actually do such a good job in so many areas-  and the proselytizing Trussel Trust, who are vigorously promoting food banks as well as doing good, get together to fill the void. It is clearly in their own interests to paint such a miserable picture.

 

Clearly,  life is tough for those on low incomes, short term and long term unemployment, disability etc,   I know, as I have personal experience, which I assume you have as you seem so sure of ATOS - Not only has it destroyed lives and taken critical benefits away from those who most need them.

 

However, I advise you think about why Labour, Conservative and Lib Dems all take basically the same line and then suggest you should be as questioning about the left-leaning press reporting as you undoubtedly are about the right-leaning press journalism.

 

or you could look at how other countries do it.  France?  Germany? Greece? 


Edited by JohnM, 30 May 2013 - 04:57 PM.


#12 bedlam breakout

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Posted 30 May 2013 - 05:13 PM

has anyone been watching "skint" on tv? a mass sterilisation programme would seem to be the answer for many thousands across britain for starters


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#13 ckn

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Posted 30 May 2013 - 05:23 PM

You're too gullible, CKN, by far.   :mellow:

 

In the complete absence of any Parliamentary opposition whatsoever, surely the warning bells must ring when the Guardian, - the star of the tax-avoiding GNM Group, The Dependent,  Oxfam - who actually do such a good job in so many areas-  and the proselytizing Trussel Trust, who are vigorously promoting food banks as well as doing good, get together to fill the void. It is clearly in their own interests to paint such a miserable picture.

 

Clearly,  life is tough for those on low incomes, short term and long term unemployment, disability etc,   I know, as I have personal experience, which I assume you have as you seem so sure of ATOS - Not only has it destroyed lives and taken critical benefits away from those who most need them.

 

However, I advise you think about why Labour, Conservative and Lib Dems all take basically the same line and then suggest you should be as questioning about the left-leaning press reporting as you undoubtedly are about the right-leaning press journalism.

 

or you could look at how other countries do it.  France?  Germany? Greece? 

On ATOS, I know a few cases of people straight out of hospital, being given lengthy recuperation sick-notes that were likely to be extended for maybe years because of the patient being so ill then being told by ATOS that they were effectively workshy scroungers and their benefits were being stopped.  I've seen one rejected appeal letter sent to someone on a morphine drip, I did suggest he contact the press but he didn't want publicity and his family were able to give him some money.  Don't trust the Guardian?  Here's a Daily Mail article on the justice of ATOS.

 

What's in it for a food bank to promote themselves?  Extra food donated to them?  Extra punters at their door?  Extra donations?  It's certainly not a way to improve their share price as they're a charity.

 

What's in it for the Guardian to promote companies that just won't be able to offer them any sponsorship or income?  Also, the people they're campaigning for are not exactly core advertising material for their advertisers.

 

I know why the MPs all take the same line, they are essentially the same.  Most new Labour MPs since 2001 are identikit clones who would be natural Tories if transported back to the 80s.  It's a rare day that someone with a working class employment background gets a sniff at a safe seat these days, it seems more important to Central HQ to parachute in useful photogenic aides and celebrities.  The Lib Dems have really disappointed me though, I thought they were better than that but the first sniff of power and they dropped their principles so fast that you'd think they were trivial points rather than core principles.  The Tories are the Tories, at least they haven't disappointed me, I expected nothing else.


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#14 Johnoco

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Posted 30 May 2013 - 05:29 PM


has anyone been watching "skint" on tv? a mass sterilisation programme would seem to be the answer for many thousands across britain for starters


They should rename that programme 'scumbags' because its not about being skint but having no standards whatsoever. I can almost guarantee that I and everyone on our street growing up was more skint than these amoeba. Being poor does not equate to being a lowlife.

#15 ckn

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Posted 30 May 2013 - 05:30 PM

http://www.independe...le-8542193.html

 

Good article on just this point.

Thanks for that, hadn't seen that at the time it was out.

 

You don't seem like a protester type.  My suggestion to you is that you join Labour and get stuck in.  You'll find that the run of the mill Labour activist is pretty much where you are and the party hierarchy will not grow a backbone unless it's members do.   But I warn you, expect to be frustrated most of the time.

It's the same with the Lib Dems, at a local level they're good people but there's a massive disconnect between them and the Parliamentary Party.  The Parliamentary Parties just don't give a flying whatever about what the local parties think, I saw a great example at a constituency level during a by-election in the last Parliament when the Labour hierarchy effectively weeded out all those who might be troublemakers from the local party's shortlist; it was made bluntly clear who was the only one that would be tolerated being selected.  A constituency MP should be entirely chosen by the local party and really shouldn't be any of the business of the party leadership.


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#16 Steve May

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Posted 30 May 2013 - 07:54 PM

Thanks for that, hadn't seen that at the time it was out.

 

It's the same with the Lib Dems, at a local level they're good people

 

I have to disagree here.  The only positive of this appalling government has been that everyone can now see in the Lib Dems what those of us who have had dealings with them in political campaigns have known for years - that the sanctimonious pillocks have feet of clay.


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#17 Steve May

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Posted 30 May 2013 - 08:07 PM

has anyone been watching "skint" on tv? a mass sterilisation programme would seem to be the answer for many thousands across britain for starters

 

You're a real nice guy.


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#18 ckn

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Posted 30 May 2013 - 08:14 PM

I have to disagree here.  The only positive of this appalling government has been that everyone can now see in the Lib Dems what those of us who have had dealings with them in political campaigns have known for years - that the sanctimonious pillocks have feet of clay.


That's fair enough, it's your experience, but I'd like to suggest that it's different people in different locations.  Where I live though, the Lib Dem councillors at County and Borough level are good people who go out of their way to protect and enhance the place, they're the main reason I switched from Labour to Lib Dem.


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#19 gingerjon

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Posted 30 May 2013 - 08:23 PM

That's fair enough, it's your experience, but I'd like to suggest that it's different people in different locations.  Where I live though, the Lib Dem councillors at County and Borough level are good people who go out of their way to protect and enhance the place, they're the main reason I switched from Labour to Lib Dem.

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#20 gingerjon

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Posted 30 May 2013 - 08:24 PM

has anyone been watching "skint" on tv? a mass sterilisation programme would seem to be the answer for many thousands across britain for starters

I can certainly think of one we could start with.
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