Monday, 26 January 2009

Who Fares Well from Welfare?

....Gordon Brown's hackneyed bleat that the British economy is 'well-placed' to withstand the financial storms has been met with incredulity, gales of laughter and extreme anger; after all, you only have to look at the disparity between the guff he was spouting 3 years ago (we need more risk and less regulation) and today (it's all the fault of those unregulated bankers, the bastards). Labour's ship is sinking - some could call it true Brownian motion. And the proof (should we need any more) lies in the fact that the JSA/IB's being increased by £30 in six months time. There are going to be a lot of hungry mouths out there.

The increase certainly isn't being made out of the good of the Government's - if it can be said to possess one - heart, that's for certain. Kicking the unemployed in the unmentionables has, after all, been one of Labour's key policies since the Cheshire Cat came to power in 1997. Since then, although the Welfare State has seemed to expand exponentially, giving rise to 'kill the undeserving scum and don't spend my money on them' from Joe Averages up and down the country, actual welfare hasn't expanded: not a jot, not a smidgen. What has grown up mushroom-like is the number of jobs and petty bureaucracies behind it. The culture of entitlement extends only to the drones who believe that they should be paid way above industry average salaries with a nice fat pension at the end of their tenure to 'implement government strategies'.

I can't remember where I read that some government office created a whole new project management position to work out the logistics of replacing a printer cartridge rather than nipping out to Staples. For this piece of absolutely eye-crossing insanity, the taxpayer paid: paid through the nose, because a 'Project Manager' draws a bigger salary. Now, extend the same stupidity to the working tax credit system and - bingo! Rather than simply saying 'okay, you earn this much and it's rather pricey for you to live comfortably: why don't we up the personal allowance for people in your position?' Labour introduced around sixteen (correct me if I'm wrong) different tax rebate systems, with their accompanying directors, managers, head office, local branches, admin, customer service etcetera. Which means a lot of jobs to do bugger all.

People on the dole get absolute beans to 'live' on; this country is the meanest financially when it comes to welfare. There hasn't been a significant increase in the weekly allowance (around £60) since Labour came to power eleven years ago, but there has been a significant increase in the cost of living. Out of the £60 you've also got to pay 20% of your rent. And food and clothes etc. Yet the myth is perpetuated that living on the dole is luxurious. That you get 'paid' for being bone idle. I think that it's one of the most harmful systems that exists: soul destroying, and deeply depressing, the unemployed see at every turn just how important they are to the powers-that-be by being told that the equivalent of a £16 year old's monthly pocket money is what the 'government says you need to live on.' Now that the more affluent are being given the boot, Labour's bunging up the weekly allowance. How they must be rubbing their hands with glee: what better than to employ thousands of new staff members to deal with the unemployed?

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Life is to be lived, not controlled, and humanity is won by continuing to play in face of certain defeat -Ralph Ellison