In Today’s Observer Liam Byrne outlines Labours plans for Welfare in a three step plan: ”
“the enemy within is not the unemployed, but unemployment. The biggest problem is not the rate of benefits being paid, but the number of people being paid benefits. That’s why we need a different approach founded on three principles.
First, people must be better off in work than living on benefits. We would make work pay by reintroducing a 10p tax rate and supporting employers who pay the living wage. Second, we would match rights with responsibilities. Labour would ensure that no adult will be able to be live on the dole for over two years and no young person for over a year. They will be offered a real job with real training, real prospects and real responsibility. This would be paid for by taxing bankers’ bonuses and restricting pension tax relief for the wealthiest. People would have to take this opportunity or lose benefits.
Third, we must do more to strengthen the old principle of contribution: there are lots of people right now who feel they pay an awful lot more in than they ever get back. That should change. We should start by letting councils give priority in social housing allocations to those who work and contribute to their community”
He also talked about ‘fairness’ and people feeling “they pay an awful lot more in than they ever get back,”
This is My response –
As a woman in her fifties who worked for over 30 years before becoming disabled, I suppose I fit into the group of “feeling” the benefits system is “Not Fair”; well that’s because it isn’t. And THAT is the Real crux of the matter!
Social Security was established to offer protection for those people who, for various circumstances could not work, and no amount of tinkering with it, based upon ‘what the Nation can afford’ will ever work. The System needs to be redesigned against the ethos of ‘demand’ and not cost.
There will always be people unable to work through illness and disability, sometimes fluctuating and often permanent; others out of work based upon the economy; and the largest group of recipients those who have retired. And it is the total cost of, often reimbursing, these groups that needs clarifying.
Once Politicians are Honest about the True cost of Welfare, both fiscally and morally, only then they can begin to determine how much they need to raise to finance it. Playing Political games with the system, only results in failing to protect the most vulnerable in Society; those for whom Social Security was designed to help.
Tell the Government to stop playing with people’s lives by signing – http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/43154 Tweet #WOWPetition