ONTD Political

10 lies we're told about welfare

11:04 am - 04/03/2013
Welfare reform, my arse. Has Jim Royle parked his chair, feet up, telly on, in the corridors between the Treasury and the Department for Work and Pensions? Employing him as adviser can be the only explanation for the utter rubbish that boils forth from this government on welfare.

Who else could have dreamed up the bedroom tax, a policy so stupid it forces people to leave their homes and drag themselves around the country in search of nonexistent one-bedroom flats?

That one has to be the result of too many hours in front of Jeremy Kyle (no offence) with the heating on full and a can of super-strength lager. It seems as if that is how this government views ordinary people: feckless and useless – poor, because they brought it on themselves, deliberately.

Maybe the cabinet is confused. Twenty-three millionaires in the one room can get like that. But do you know what, enough. Let's call this government's welfare policy what it is – wrong, nasty and dishonest.

Off the top of my head, I can list 10 porkies they are spinning to justify the latest stage of their attack on our 70-year-old welfare state.

1. Benefits are too generous

Really? Could you live on £53 a week as Iain Duncan Smith is claiming he could if he had to? Then imagine handing back 14% of this because the government deems you have a "spare room". Could you find the money to pay towards council tax and still afford to eat at the end of the week?

2. Benefits are going up

They're not. A 1% "uprating" cap is really a cut. Inflation is at least 2.7% . Essentials like food, fuel and transport are all up by at least that, in many cases far more. Benefits are quickly falling behind the cost of living.

3. Jobs are out there, if people look

Where? Unemployment rose last month and is at 2.5 million, with one million youngsters out of work. When Costa Coffee advertised eight jobs, 1,701 applied.

4. The bedroom tax won't hit army families or foster carers

Yes it will. Perhaps most cruel of all, the tax will not apply to foster families who look after one kid. If you foster siblings, then tough. But these kids are often the hardest to place. Thanks to George Osborne and IDS, their chances just got worse. And even if your son or daughter is in barracks in Afghanistan, then don't expect peace of mind as the government still has to come clean on plans for their bedroom.

5. Social tenants can downsize

Really, where? Councils sold their properties – and Osborne wants them to sell what's left. Housing associations built for families. In Hull, there are 5,500 people told to chase 70 one-bedroom properties.

6. Housing benefit is the problem

In fact it's rental costs. Private rents shot up by an average of £300 last year. No wonder 5 million people need housing benefits, but they don't keep a penny. It all goes to landlords.

7. Claimants are pulling a fast one

No. Less than 1% of the welfare budget is lost to fraud. But tax avoidance and evasion is estimated to run to £120bn.

8. It's those teenage single mums

An easy target. Yet only 2% of single mums are teenagers. And most single mums, at least 59%, work.

9. We're doing this for the next generation

No you're not. The government's admitted at least 200,000 more children will be pushed deeper into poverty because of the welfare changes.

10. Welfare reforms are just about benefit cuts

Wrong. The attack on our welfare state is hitting a whole range of services – privatising the NHS, winding up legal aid for people in debt and closing SureStart centres and libraries. All this will make life poorer for every community.

Some call these myths. I call them lies. We are being told lies about who caused this crisis and lied to about the best way out of it. But I know one thing to be true: this government's polices will make millions of people poorer and more afraid. To do that when you do not have to, when there are other options, is obscene. That's why I'm backing union Unite's OurWelfareWorks campaign in its efforts to help highlight the truth about our welfare state.

Source: The Guardian CiF

OP: This was penned by Ricky Tomlinson of "Royle Family" fame, fyi.
the_physicist 3rd-Apr-2013 11:58 am (UTC)
The poor are easy targets for Tories, it's really that simple, isn't it? They can blame the poor for everything, make them poorer, and get more votes from Tories.

Blergh.

Not that New Labour is much better. -_-

Can't everyone just vote MRLP next election? Just to get a change of people into Whitehall. Pls?
rainbow_vagina 3rd-Apr-2013 12:01 pm (UTC)
Housing benefit is a joke now. If you're younger than 35, you wont get any 'help' for a flat that's more than £330 a month (yeah, because there are SO many flats that are £330 or less a month!) or for anything that isn't a room in a shared house or a bedsit.

No-one takes DSS anymore because landlords etc think people who claim benefits are loud, obnoxious chavs but that's okay, we'll just live on the road.

Iain Duncan Smith should be forced to live off £53 a week for at least a year but that still wouldn't matter because he could go back to his millions of pounds house any time he wanted to. Why is it ok for him just to say that as if it's fact with no proof?

It makes me fucking sick.

And yet people still go on about how the tories aren't bad, They're just trying to get rid of the debt this country is in. BULLSHIT. More money is lost due to tax evasion/fraud than benefit fraud. But yeah, let's all just focus on benefit cheats because they want us to be divided and argue with each other so we're not paying attention to them while they're commiting tax fraud.

How come it's only tax payer's money when it comes down to what people on benefits spend their money on? Funny how it's not tax payer's money when the mp's blow it on expensive shit.

Sorry, rambles but fuck I'm angry.
ljtaylor 3rd-Apr-2013 01:39 pm (UTC)
wtf, rent is only that cheap if you live in the North with 5 other people. I rented a house in Manc (with 2 others) that was £215/mo 4 years ago and I can't imagine you'd find something that cheap now. The cost of living went up so much in 2011.

oh and IDS is claiming he was "on the breadline" that one time he had to survive off his savings.
rainbow_vagina 3rd-Apr-2013 02:14 pm (UTC)
Exactly.

Yeah and he's going on about the fact that he's been unemployed which is missing the point completely. It's easy to survive if you're out of work and rich.
ljtaylor 3rd-Apr-2013 02:16 pm (UTC)
I hate that man so much. Him and bloody Gove.
empressith 3rd-Apr-2013 04:24 pm (UTC)
do NOT apologize. You are 100% correct.
ruby_chalice 3rd-Apr-2013 12:39 pm (UTC)
So now we have to wait for someone from the entertainment industry to point out the blatantly obvious? The media couldn't work this out for themselves? Or were they so busy colluding with the government, spreading propaganda that supported the decimation of the welfare state that 'facts' were ignored as they didn't suit the remit.
ljtaylor 3rd-Apr-2013 01:33 pm (UTC)
actually I was gonna post an article about the Philpott arson/murder case as that seems to be the latest media proof of "people on benefits are scum", but I didn't want to be responsible for injuries caused by punching monitors.

The Guardian and the BBC are the only ones giving coverage of the case that pins the blame ON THE PERPETRATORS rather than the welfare system. The Daily Mail has about four articles discussing the latter. And I'd write it off as the Daily Mail, but the problem is...people believe it, and it feeds into this demonising of the poor.
ruby_chalice 3rd-Apr-2013 03:14 pm (UTC)
I'm surprised you think the BBC have no blood on their hands when it comes to perpetuating the stereotype of benefit claimants being workshy or fraudsters ie 'saints & scroungers'. Just today they demonstrated how completely out of touch with society they are by producing a study they commissioned into the 'class system'. The result being that we are now apparently subdivided into 7 classes. And they're offering a cheeky little online test 'to determine what class you are'. (...)

They need to wake up and smell their own elitism.

I don't believe the Guardian have been anywhere near vociferous enough when reporting the truth about the Government's welfare agenda. Better than most admittedly.
rainbow_vagina 3rd-Apr-2013 04:05 pm (UTC)
Just a side note but Ricky Tomlinson isn't just someone from the entertainment industry. He's a brilliant person and has stood up for the 'common' man before.
ruby_chalice 3rd-Apr-2013 06:03 pm (UTC)
I'm aware of Ricky Tomlinson's activism. I hope I haven't given the impression I'm having a pop at him. My grievance is with the media. At worst they've been complicit. At best, apathetic.
empressith 3rd-Apr-2013 03:47 pm (UTC)
It's criminal how they are treating the poor in Britain. It sounds more like the States.
kittenmommy 4th-Apr-2013 01:14 am (UTC)

Sadly, I agree. And I'm from/living in the States.
kittenmommy 4th-Apr-2013 01:13 am (UTC)

Could you live on £53 a week as Iain Duncan Smith is claiming he could if he had to?

I'm not from Missouri nor have I ever lived there, but he's still have to Show Me. Doubt he would, though.
romp 4th-Apr-2013 05:48 am (UTC)
Good on the Guardian for running this.

We're doing this for the next generation

and TO the next generation--this sort of greed ensures the damage lasts for years and years
spinnigold 4th-Apr-2013 10:46 am (UTC)
Ha, I've got to go to the job centre to sign on for my 'easy to live on' £53 a week in a couple of hours. Every week that goes by that I have to do it, the worse my situation gets. I just want to be able to support myself..
It doesn't help that I'm stuck living with my mother and her partner, who constantly makes it difficult and just yesterday was using that god awful 'class test' against me. He wouldn't accept I wasn't the 'lowest possible class' because "how could I be cultured/have any social impact?"

Between the DM, BBC and the Tories I just want to leave this country. But where the hell would we go and how would we afford it!?
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