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"Benefit cuts: Monday will be the day that defines this government..." Watch

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    What can we do? Batten down the hatches - Only spend what you can afford = No problems. But no one has followed that simple rule.
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    Sky Broadcasting will go under the next day...
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    (Original post by InnerTemple)
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisf...nes-government

    Worth a read. I know some, particularly on this forum (which seems to be UKIP HQ for some reason), will believe it to be liberal, wishy washy, hand ringing nonsense. However it is without a doubt that, as the piece points out, the changes will bring challenges. They will hurt many more people than the "scroungers" we have been told about and all with access to legal advice severely restricted.
    Emotive language about "hurting" people doesn't really have a place in this debate. The benefits changes do indeed go beyond out of work benefits. For example, the DLA/PIP changeovers will reprioritise spending (which is increasing) on disability benefits. That will leave some disabled people with extra needs which are assessed as being of a lower level with less money, but will give more to those who have a higher level of need.

    Given that we're talking about sustainability, and benefits which haven't been looked at often for decades to measure their efficacy, then I think that's quite reasonable.

    I believe that the government has acted in a disgusting manner when it has come to welfare. I am also saddened that there has been little resistance from any other party - no one has been quick to point out the flaws or lies in the government's case.
    Oddly enough, I think the Labour Party's response to this (not to mention the small, far-left groups in Britain) has been ludicrously overblown scaremongering.

    Cameron and his boys will be judged for this. With any luck, it will leave his party unelectable for a very long time.
    The problem with that is that it's all very popular with Conservative swing-voters, particularly the working classes. From having canvassed for the party, I can tell you that in a UK general election, the main issue which arises on the doorstep in less well off areas is concern over how the benefits system is abused or leads to negative outcomes.

    If you read the Guardian, sure, it'll all seem like doom and gloom for the Tories, but ultimately its policies that piss off the Guardian and its readership that usually sit very well with supporters.
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    Cuts aren't effecting me or anybody I know so why should I care?
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    Politixx remember 'and then they came for me'
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    (Original post by Abused a)
    Students over the age of 21 who study away from home and whose parents claim housing benefit either through disability or unemployment. These students will have to pay HCC Housing Cost Contribution of £15 a week. The bill is the students not the parents who are keeping the room for them.
    Which is no different to the parents who have children who have split up, and the other parent (who has the children a few nights a week) has to pay the same.
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    (Original post by L i b)
    ...
    Hmm we'll see about that. I think there will be some massive injustices - I'll be keeping an eye on some of the cases that come through the FRU office.

    Anyone who goes around saying that they could live of £53 a week is a bit out of touch in my estimation.

    Anyway, while we are on the topic of reckless cuts, I'll extend the subject matter somewhat to topic of cuts to the justice system. These cuts will almost certainly end up costing more money than they save whilst also buggering up what used to be a fairly decent legal system. The Criminal Bar Association has some interesting things to say on the subject of PCT - of which no one is getting a say in. Well, other than interested parties such as Co-Op and Eddie Stobart.

    The bigger issue, however, is the cut in legal aid. This will see more litigants in person - something a very senior judge spoke out about a few weeks back. My attention was recently drawn to a judgement where Sir Alan Ward, sitting in the Court of Appeal decided to spend some of his judgement expressing his concerns. Said he:

    ...Being without or having run out of funds to pay for legal representation, they have become resolute litigators and they litigated in person. Some unlucky judge had to cope with the problems that inevitably arise in the management of a case like this. Here the short straw was drawn by His Honour Judge Anthony Thornton QC.

    What I find so depressing is that the case highlights the difficulties increasingly encountered by the judiciary at all levels when dealing with litigants in person.

    Two problems in particular are revealed. The first is how to bring order to the chaos which litigants in person invariably – and wholly understandably – manage to create. It may be saving the Legal Services Commission which no longer offers legal aid for this kind of litigation but saving expenditure in one public department in this instance simply increases it in the courts. The expense of three judges of the Court of Appeal dealing with this kind of appeal is enormous. The consequences by way of delay of other appeals which need to be heard are unquantifiable. The appeal would certainly never have occurred if the litigants had been represented.

    With more and more self-represented litigants, this problem is not going to go away. We may have to accept that we live in austere times, but as I come to the end of eighteen years service in this court, I shall not refrain from expressing my conviction that justice will be ill served indeed by this emasculation of legal aid.

    Wright v Michael Wright Supplies Ltd & Anor [2013] EWCA Civ 234
    Lord Justice Hughes added:

    I also agree that the case is a good example of the way in which efforts to save money on legal representation can often end up costing everyone, and in particular the public, more rather than less.
    Depressing reading indeed.
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    Why do I keep seeing the figure £53?. I thought that weekly JSA ( or whatever its called now) was £71?.

    We do need to reform the benefit system because it's been abused for so long.I do wonder what Labour would do if they were in power though.Left to them this country would be asking for a bail out from the EU imo.I still say it's their fault this country is in this mess, they always gave out benefits like they were giving out sweets.
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    What are you on about?

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    (Original post by Annie72)
    Why do I keep seeing the figure £53?. I thought that weekly JSA ( or whatever its called now) was £71?.

    We do need to reform the benefit system because it's been abused for so long.I do wonder what Labour would do if they were in power though.Left to them this country would be asking for a bail out from the EU imo.I still say it's their fault this country is in this mess, they always gave out benefits like they were giving out sweets.
    Yup, welfare spending in the UK brought down the global economy. Oops!
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    (Original post by InnerTemple)
    Yup, welfare spending in the UK brought down the global economy. Oops!
    No, but it is the reason for the largest structural deficit in the entire OECD.
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    (Original post by Annie72)
    Why do I keep seeing the figure £53?. I thought that weekly JSA ( or whatever its called now) was £71?.
    It's £56.25 if you're under 25. (apart from lone parents and those of us on ESA who have been assessed and placed in a group)
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    (Original post by OU Student)
    It's £56.25 if you're under 25. (apart from lone parents and those of us on ESA who have been assessed and placed in a group)
    Ahh I see, thank you
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    (Original post by doggyfizzel)

    Its hardly an avalanche of cuts either £18bn from £117bn is a 1.5% cut.
    Unless I've missed something, your maths seems to be somewhat out: 18bn is 6.5% of 117bn not 1.5%.
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    (Original post by Futility)
    Unless I've missed something, your maths seems to be somewhat out: 18bn is 6.5% of 117bn not 1.5%.
    Yeah my maths was wrong, I did in my head, but I don't think its 6.5% either.
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    (Original post by InnerTemple)
    The bigger issue, however, is the cut in legal aid.
    You don't have to persuade me on that one, I'm very much on board. In Scotland, where it is devolved, the cuts to it are deeper still and the problems possibly more pressing than in England.

    Take solace that, unlike us, you don't have a government in charge of justice issues that is not only cutting, but seems to absolutely despise the legal profession and try to shaft it at every opportunity.
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    (Original post by doggyfizzel)
    Yeah my maths was wrong, I did in my head, but I don't think its 6.5% either.
    Lol yeah you're right, It's actually 15.4%, which is tbf is a huge cut.
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    (Original post by OU Student)
    So, can we not afford to pay people benefits; but can give higher earners a tax cut?
    The tax rate for higher earners under labour was actually lower than it is now. When it became apparent that they weren't going to get in they raised it to 50% knowing that the Torys would have to drop it. Notice I said have to, and not want to. Only an economics illiterate thinks high taxes promotes growth. However, if we look at the figures.

    Interest Payments - £48 billion

    The bulk of this is due to Brown's economic illiteracy - also Osborne has to shoulder some of the blame. Money spend on servicing stupidly acquired debt is not available for reinvestment into UK PLC. £48 billion buys a lot of school or hospital upgrades, together with lots of things that go 'bang' for the military.

    Total Welfare Spending - £159 billion

    First off, state pensions (£74 billion) are about 47% of total welfare spending. People that have spent the bulk of their working lives paying tax have a right to expect that state will look after them when the stop working. That still leaves £85 billion to look at. That is still £232 million a day of spending.

    Benefit Cap

    Benefits will be capped as follows:



    • £500 a week for couples (with or without children living with them)
    • £500 a week for single parents whose children live with them
    • £350 a week for single adults who don’t have children, or whose children don’t live with them



    So a single mum will still have a maximum income of £26,000 a year. That is the equivalent of £34,500 before tax.

    According to the Office of National Statistics, the average wage is £26,500 a year before tax.

    So a single parent on benefits doing the square root of F all is getting the equivalent of £8,000 a year more than a person on average wage.

    Which is why our benefits system is in urgent end of reform. It pays to stay at home.
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    (Original post by MatureStudent36)
    So a single mum will still have a maximum income of £26,000 a year. That is the equivalent of £34,500 before tax.

    According to the Office of National Statistics, the average wage is £26,500 a year before tax.

    So a single parent on benefits doing the square root of F all is getting the equivalent of £8,000 a year more than a person on average wage.

    Which is why our benefits system is in urgent end of reform. It pays to stay at home.
    You're comparing 2 different situations. The person on £26k doesn't have a child to feed and clothe.
 
 
 
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