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

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    (Original post by InnerTemple)
    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.


    With any luck, it will leave his party unelectable for a very long time.
    Don't these two statements clash slightly? Surely the fact that there has been so little resistance from other parties suggests that not one of them is capable of doing a better job!

    If you want the Conservatives out, who would you prefer to be in government?
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    (Original post by DannyW94)
    Don't these two statements clash slightly? Surely the fact that there has been so little resistance from other parties suggests that not one of them is capable of doing a better job!

    If you want the Conservatives out, who would you prefer to be in government?
    Well I'll probably vote for the party with the greatest chance of winning who I believe to be less worse. :rolleyes:

    I don't think the point you raise in your first paragraph is entirely made out, however I do see where you are coming from.

    (Original post by Scots King)
    Oh Polly....She is an absolute embarrassment to the left. Many of my friends who consider themselve to be left wing make it abundantly clear that people like her do not represent them. This kind of reporting is crass and hyperbolic, and all it serves to do is perpetuate myths among the middle classes, who take her word for gospel.

    She is the worst kind of liberal - how much does a Guardian columnist earn? 110k? And then there's also the villa in Tuscany. What does she know about the lives of working people?
    Is there anything in particular in Polly's article which you disagree with?
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    (Original post by Scumbaggio)
    The first problem I have is that these changes are driven by ideology and not necessity.

    The second problem I have is that the electorate in this country are actually idiots and they have a very poor choice of who they wish to vote for anyway.

    The whole Guardian vs Daily Mail thing is pretty juvenile though, I read both every day and there are good and bad articles and comments on both sites.
    I don't think the Guardian and the Daily Mail are even in the same category.


    OP, I feel exactly the same. The Tories had no intent on tightening up on benefit fraud- through improving strategies to identify fraudsters, through increasing the punishment, fixing any loop holes in the system etc. That I whole heartedly agree with. But they are attacking EVERYONE on welfare.

    I feel sickened that our country is going to have to endure this, but what I despise is the sly, underhand way they are going about it. Calling their own people 'scroungers'. That's worse than Thatcher. They should at least have the self-respect to be open and honest about it. I'd have much more respect for them if they simply state that they believe too much money is being put into the benefit system and they want to reduce it, but they are justifying themselves in a deceitful, almost manipulative way.

    Labour made mistake, they ****ed up in numerous ways, on numerous occasions, but at least they had integrity and respect for the people.
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    (Original post by InnerTemple)
    Well I'll probably vote for the party with the greatest chance of winning who I believe to be less worse. :rolleyes:

    I don't think the point you raise in your first paragraph is entirely made out, however I do see where you are coming from.



    Is there anything in particular in Polly's article which you disagree with?
    Just a quick disclaimer - I am actually not in favour of the bedroom tax. But Polly's misreporting is dangerous.

    The point I was trying to make is that much of the middle class have no real experience of how those on benefits live, or people who are in low paid work live. They rely on the media to inform them, so misleading articles such as Polly's only serves to perpetuate myths and misunderstandings.

    I take issue with most of the article:

    "an avalanche of benefit cuts will hit the same households over and over." An avalanche? Come on, the bedroom tax is going to hurt but JSA and ESA is not being reduced. I don't know what the position in England is, but in Scotland the new council rate reduction will be paid at the same level as Council Tax was for claimants in 2013/14.

    "You need to go back to Edwardian times to find ministers and commentators so viciously dismissing all on low incomes as cheats, idlers and drunks." I take issue with this. The amount of commentators who thrawnly do so is few and far between, because they know they'd get shouted down for it. There are some who openly castigate those on welfare and try to create misperceptions but in general this can be isolated to a few media outlets. Most demonising rhetoric has centered around the Bedroom Tax, to which I will concede that some of the rhetoric used by IDS and his like is embarrasing and only serves to bolster the notion that they are out of touch.

    "But look back through this week's Times, Telegraph, Mail and Sun to see how their readers are told nothing. They know a lot about immigrants. Sun readers were told the welfare bill is soaring out of control." Immigration is a very important issue and Polly always tries to downplay its importance. She warbles on about a "living wage", but the reality is that employers are never going to pay this when they can import low-skilled workers from across the Union, some who live in countries with a NMW of 70p. This serves to keep wages artifically low. How can the left be in favour of this? There's a reason why mass-immigration of low-skilled workers is loved by business owners. And the welfare bill is soaring out of control. So she is denying the increase in welfare, which is quite frankly astonishing. (She is also a deficit-denier, previous articles) A fifth of government spending is on welfare. It is increasing, but this is largely because of pensions and pension credits, on which 60% of the welfare budget goes. We are two years into the boomer generation, so the budget will continue to increase. This is clearly going to put pressure on the nation's finances, so it is right that the Sun reports it. Unfortunately Polly clearly doesn't see it as an issue, because money grows on trees after all.

    "People may read these papers to be protected from inconvenient facts about growing inequality and the catastrophic falling behind of the poor." I always take issue with this measure - the measure of inequality. The "gap" between the richest and the poorest. It strikes me as pure envy. The green-eyed monster. The problem with this is that Polly would rather everyone was poorer, even those on the lowest rung, just so the "gap" would be smaller. Tax the rich more and see where they go. The 75% income tax in France didn't work out too well now, did it? All it does is reduce government income, which necessitates further cuts in spending, and pushing the poorer further into destitution. It's dreadfully short sighted.

    "it's all a fraud, since IDS knows that 660,000 tenants with a spare room can never be found smaller properties, they will pay the extra or fall into debt and arrears until they are evicted." This will only happen in extremely limited cases. She has know idea how much it costs to evict someone. We are talking about at least £5000. Housing associations and councils don't have this kind of money to throw at evicting people. This serves no purpose anyway - who are they going to replace these people with? More people who can't afford to pay? Is it just an endless cycle? Thousands are not going to be made homeless from this tax. What will happen is that people will fall into debt (relying on paydays loans etc - which is wrong) Or local authorities and housing associations will have to bear the cost (which they will, having to lay off staff and increase rents for those who are working)

    "When in dire straits, there will be no more crisis loans, only a card for buying food, with not a penny for bus fares." Are crisis loans not now being distributed by local authorities under a new name. And are buses not free now for those on JSA? (I'm genuinely not sure about this, I'll stand corrected if otherwise!)

    "Trussel Trust food banks expect a great surge of the hungry, so they ask everyone to donate the price of an Easter egg." I have an issue with food banks as well. For some, they are a lifeline and an absolute necessity. But in some cases, (and this can be found in some of the more balanced reports in the Guardian), it merely serves to perpetuate some on a low income's problems. If you know that you can get food parcels, then you will have more income to spend on alcohol and drugs (And I'm not demonising all on low income as doing this, just saying that some do have a problem and the provision of food banks can make their dependency worse)

    She has a point with the legal aid cuts - but we already knen that the court system is rich man's justice.
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    (Original post by Scots King)
    ...x...
    An avalanche of benefit cuts. There is more going on other than the bedroom tax. For a start we have a benefit cap coming in. There are changes to the council tax benefit – the Scottish Government has agreed that people will not receive less than they did under the old system. The same is not true in England where the amount of money available to councils has been reduced. We also have changes to disability benefit and ESA. I am sure that there are other changes coming in – all will come with adverse effects.

    You need to go back to Edwardian times to find ministers and commentators so viciously dismissing all on low incomes as cheats, idlers and drunks. I agree that this is emotive language. However I think it is justified. I am of the opinion that there has been a demonization of those on benefits. I remember the remarks made by Osbourne who spoke about the neighbours with ‘the blinds still drawn’ whilst you go out to work. This is a clear, albeit clumsy, attempt at stirring up emotions and creating a ‘them and us’ culture – even between those in receipt of benefits. The ‘scroungers vs strivers’ rhetoric is another example. Ignoring the fact that the benefit changes are affecting households where people work very hard indeed as well as those who genuinely can’t work, this language was designed to bolster support for changes to the welfare state by leading people to believe that the changes were there to help hard workers and punish the lazy.

    It's all a fraud, since IDS knows that 660,000 tenants with a spare room can never be found smaller properties, they will pay the extra or fall into debt and arrears until they are evicted. While you take issue with the point, you only seem to be concerned with the fact that Polly has suggested that some affected people will fall into arrears or be evicted. I agree that this will not always be the case and I am led to believe that some councils will not be evicting tenants. However, the wider issue, that the bedroom tax will not work and that what we have been told about the benefits of the policy is all a fraud, is a legitimate point.

    When in dire straits, there will be no more crisis loans, only a card for buying food, with not a penny for bus fares. Councils will be responsible for helping those who would have usually applied for a crisis loan. There is no universal requirement as to how councils should help – most are going to give out food stamps while at least one will use its funds to set up a food bank. Bus travel is not free for those on JSA.
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    I do not understand why this is being described as an "earthquake". The cuts are relatively modest and we will still have one of the world's largest benefit bills. See recent OECD data here: http://www.oecd.org/social/soc/socia...tabasesocx.htm.

    Saying that there has been no resistance from the other parties is simply wrong, don't make assumptions about what is going on in parliament if you can't be bothered to check by googling. Labour is pushing this issue hard in parliament. It is all over the front page of their website. I've been getting an email from Labour almost every week for a few months talking about the benefit cuts.
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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.

    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.

    I think the last paragraph in the piece is a good summary: "People should know that historians will record the earthquake of social destruction that happened in their name, while they read of nothing but "scroungers" and the 'soaring benefit bill'."

    Cameron and his boys will be judged for this. With any luck, it will leave his party unelectable for a very long time.
    But there has been loads of opposition to the bedroom tax, I've seen Facebook petitions against it.
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    (Original post by InnerTemple;42108381
    [B
    )

    It's all a fraud, since IDS knows that 660,000 tenants with a spare room can never be found smaller properties, they will pay the extra or fall into debt and arrears until they are evicted.[/B] While you take issue with the point, you only seem to be concerned with the fact that Polly has suggested that some affected people will fall into arrears or be evicted. I agree that this will not always be the case and I am led to believe that some councils will not be evicting tenants. However, the wider issue, that the bedroom tax will not work and that what we have been told about the benefits of the policy is all a fraud, is a legitimate point.

    When in dire straits, there will be no more crisis loans, only a card for buying food, with not a penny for bus fares. Councils will be responsible for helping those who would have usually applied for a crisis loan. There is no universal requirement as to how councils should help – most are going to give out food stamps while at least one will use its funds to set up a food bank. Bus travel is not free for those on JSA.
    Sorry if this is wrong, but can't people with an extra bedroom just take in a lodger? Whats wrong with that?

    I've had to live with people I didn't get on with at times- beggars can't be choosers.

    Well, there was abuse of crisis loans. An ordinary person in dire straights would be forced to go to a payday loan company- yes, at times, people in work end up in dire straights- say if your company just doesn't pay you?

    As for bus fares would be much fairer to scrap freedom passes- or at least means test them and just reduce the price for everyone.
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    (Original post by blue n white army)
    In what world???

    A £45 asda shop (that includes the cost of delivery a cost which could be cut if i was really struggling) will last me 3 weeks and there are some items i buy which i don't need. Another £10 MAX over the next three weeks will get me milk and bread. If we take out delivery costs then food costs me a little over £50 for three weeks and i eat fairly well.
    People on benefits arguing about the cost of food need to do their shopping better, there's nothing wrong with smart price or basics food!
    Really?

    What do you eat in this diet? Is it healthy or making you ill? Just curious, I'd like to reduce my shopping bills.

    It is probably still healthier then the kebab and chips/chessy chips/pizza/ chinese/ sausage n chips/ burgers that people on benefits often have 5 nights a week.
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    (Original post by pandabird)
    I don't think the Guardian and the Daily Mail are even in the same category.


    OP, I feel exactly the same. The Tories had no intent on tightening up on benefit fraud- through improving strategies to identify fraudsters, through increasing the punishment, fixing any loop holes in the system etc. That I whole heartedly agree with. But they are attacking EVERYONE on welfare.

    I feel sickened that our country is going to have to endure this, but what I despise is the sly, underhand way they are going about it. Calling their own people 'scroungers'. That's worse than Thatcher. They should at least have the self-respect to be open and honest about it. I'd have much more respect for them if they simply state that they believe too much money is being put into the benefit system and they want to reduce it, but they are justifying themselves in a deceitful, almost manipulative way.

    Labour made mistake, they ****ed up in numerous ways, on numerous occasions, but at least they had integrity and respect for the people.
    I agree.

    There needs to be a balance and they need to help/encourage people to be more resourceful.

    More people could grow/hunt/farm/pick/fish there own food, make their own clothes, thrift for second hand things, use the library, they shouldn't allow businesses to throw away edible food etc.
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    (Original post by InnerTemple)
    An avalanche of benefit cuts. There is more going on other than the bedroom tax. For a start we have a benefit cap coming in. There are changes to the council tax benefit – the Scottish Government has agreed that people will not receive less than they did under the old system. The same is not true in England where the amount of money available to councils has been reduced. We also have changes to disability benefit and ESA. I am sure that there are other changes coming in – all will come with adverse effects.

    You need to go back to Edwardian times to find ministers and commentators so viciously dismissing all on low incomes as cheats, idlers and drunks. I agree that this is emotive language. However I think it is justified. I am of the opinion that there has been a demonization of those on benefits. I remember the remarks made by Osbourne who spoke about the neighbours with ‘the blinds still drawn’ whilst you go out to work. This is a clear, albeit clumsy, attempt at stirring up emotions and creating a ‘them and us’ culture – even between those in receipt of benefits. The ‘scroungers vs strivers’ rhetoric is another example. Ignoring the fact that the benefit changes are affecting households where people work very hard indeed as well as those who genuinely can’t work, this language was designed to bolster support for changes to the welfare state by leading people to believe that the changes were there to help hard workers and punish the lazy.

    It's all a fraud, since IDS knows that 660,000 tenants with a spare room can never be found smaller properties, they will pay the extra or fall into debt and arrears until they are evicted. While you take issue with the point, you only seem to be concerned with the fact that Polly has suggested that some affected people will fall into arrears or be evicted. I agree that this will not always be the case and I am led to believe that some councils will not be evicting tenants. However, the wider issue, that the bedroom tax will not work and that what we have been told about the benefits of the policy is all a fraud, is a legitimate point.

    When in dire straits, there will be no more crisis loans, only a card for buying food, with not a penny for bus fares. Councils will be responsible for helping those who would have usually applied for a crisis loan. There is no universal requirement as to how councils should help – most are going to give out food stamps while at least one will use its funds to set up a food bank. Bus travel is not free for those on JSA.
    The benefit cap is set at 26k - I think most would see that as fairly generous.

    Personal Independence Payment - the details are still being figured out at the moment, I don't think we can draw any hard and fast conclusions on whether this will be a disaster. However, ATOS assessments for ESA don't fill me with confidence. There will also be a long, difficult transition process from ESA to PIP - e.g. people even now are still being transitioned from Incapacity Benefit to ESA.

    I partially take your point about demonisation of those on benefits. Some elements of the press are trying to whip up a frenzy. The irony is that a lot of benefit recipients are actually in work. Maybe someone who is part-time and would like more hours, but either these hours are not available or it would affecting their working tax credit or housing benefit, so there is no financial incentive for them to do so.

    I agree that the bedroom tax won't work and will have dire consequences but Polly is absolutely misleading her readers...evictions will be rare and won't me the main adverse consequence of the bedroom tax.

    Thanks for the info on crisis loans also!
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    (Original post by Scots King)
    Personal Independence Payment - the details are still being figured out at the moment, I don't think we can draw any hard and fast conclusions on whether this will be a disaster. However, ATOS assessments for ESA don't fill me with confidence. There will also be a long, difficult transition process from ESA to PIP - e.g. people even now are still being transitioned from Incapacity Benefit to ESA.
    PIP is a replacement to DLA - DLA/PIP is a non-income assessed benefit (so payable to people in work, children, pensioners and out of work) and is designed to cover the additional costs that living in a non-accessible society placed on disabled people. David Cameron claimed DLA for his son while he was alive. It is also a passport benefit to get a Blue Badge, disabled persons railcard, buspass etc etc.

    ESA is the replacement to incapacity benefit and is for people who are unable to work (either short or long term) for 3 months or more due to illness or disability. As IB it was paid out based on evidence from GPs, consultants, social workers etc. As ESA eligibility is based on work capability assessments carried out by Atos. 20 minutes with a "healthcare professional".

    PIP (which is live NOW for new applicants in 2 regions) includes a similar move from NHS/social services to Atos/capita administered assessments. The DWP projections estimate 20-30% reduction in claimants gaining help but no overall reduction in the cost of PIP over DLA (as the money saved from removing it from disabled people will be swallowed up entirely by the contracts with Atos/Capita).

    I agree that the impact of DLA > PIP won't be clear until the transition is complete in 2015. But wanted to be clear that PIP has nothing to do with ESA apart from the unfortunate decision to replicate the assessment methodology that has proved such a problem in the transition from IB > ESA.
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    Sorry for any typos in the above - posting from my phone
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    (Original post by OU Student)
    A lot of these policies either make no sense at all or haven't been thought through. Whilst I do understand the need for a benefit cap, they've gone the wrong way about it.
    Although i partly agree with this response, its such a Labour like thing to say.

    Perhaps the lack of response in Parliament is because Labour have finally realised that if they oppose everything the tories do, for the needless sake of opposing it, the country will go nowhere.

    In order for countries to move forward economically, people need to make decisions that have to be put into action.

    Constantly saying everything everyone is ever doing is completely wrong and bad and OMG CONSEQUENCES doesnt help anything at all.

    The Conservatives were elected to do a job, why is everyone trying to stop them.

    Do you not consider the possible benefits in the long run when looking at benefit cuts?

    Met with the loosening of regulation in businesses in the last budget such as National Insurance cuts means more people will be employed.

    Do you have any plausible alternatives?
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    The benefit changes will define probably who votes Tory in 2015. Student tuition fees may be the main determinant of who votes Lib Dem.
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    Hopefully this will all be sorted out one day


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    (Original post by AJ_Moose)
    I claimed it as my parents required me to for supporting me. This was 6 years ago... there was no limit on how long you can claim JSA nor do I know of any limit now. I stopped claiming because I became self-employed instead of complaining that there's no jobs.
    There has always been a limit on contributions based JSA - ever since it was introduced (at the time I think it was 2 years but that was cut very quickly down to 1 year). I'm struggling to find concrete details but I know in 2009 the limit was definitely down to 6 months (as it still is: https://www.gov.uk/jobseekers-allowance/eligibility gives details on the current set up).

    After 6 months if someone in your household works more than 24 hours a week then you can no longer receive JSA as NI based stops and you're ineligible for income-based. After that point you can continue to sign on and attend work placements etc but the only financial benefit you receive is your NI contributions are covered (and so you'll receive a full state pension at retirement age)
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    (Original post by PQ)
    PIP is a replacement to DLA - DLA/PIP is a non-income assessed benefit (so payable to people in work, children, pensioners and out of work) and is designed to cover the additional costs that living in a non-accessible society placed on disabled people. David Cameron claimed DLA for his son while he was alive. It is also a passport benefit to get a Blue Badge, disabled persons railcard, buspass etc etc.

    ESA is the replacement to incapacity benefit and is for people who are unable to work (either short or long term) for 3 months or more due to illness or disability. As IB it was paid out based on evidence from GPs, consultants, social workers etc. As ESA eligibility is based on work capability assessments carried out by Atos. 20 minutes with a "healthcare professional".

    PIP (which is live NOW for new applicants in 2 regions) includes a similar move from NHS/social services to Atos/capita administered assessments. The DWP projections estimate 20-30% reduction in claimants gaining help but no overall reduction in the cost of PIP over DLA (as the money saved from removing it from disabled people will be swallowed up entirely by the contracts with Atos/Capita).

    I agree that the impact of DLA > PIP won't be clear until the transition is complete in 2015. But wanted to be clear that PIP has nothing to do with ESA apart from the unfortunate decision to replicate the assessment methodology that has proved such a problem in the transition from IB > ESA.
    I stand corrected! Thanks for this
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    Frank Field's view on welfare, totally agree with him. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/poli...re-reform.html
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    (Original post by Jordan-James)
    Although i partly agree with this response, its such a Labour like thing to say.

    Perhaps the lack of response in Parliament is because Labour have finally realised that if they oppose everything the tories do, for the needless sake of opposing it, the country will go nowhere.

    In order for countries to move forward economically, people need to make decisions that have to be put into action.

    Constantly saying everything everyone is ever doing is completely wrong and bad and OMG CONSEQUENCES doesnt help anything at all.

    The Conservatives were elected to do a job, why is everyone trying to stop them.

    Do you not consider the possible benefits in the long run when looking at benefit cuts?

    Met with the loosening of regulation in businesses in the last budget such as National Insurance cuts means more people will be employed.

    Do you have any plausible alternatives?


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