Today’s vote on benefits

 

   Today the government invites MPs to vote to peg increases in benefits to just 1% a year  for the rest of  this Parliament.

   The government does not propose to limit increases to pensions, nor to disability benefits this way. They will continue with the triple lock on pensions to ensure a better uprating each year.

     The idea is to limit the rise in benefits to make it more worthwhile to work, at a time when  pay rises are low or non existent. In recent years out of work benefits have gone up by more than average wages, making it less worthwhile to work.

      Labour’s criticism of the proposal points out that the 1% will also apply to in work benefits going to people on low pay, as well as limiting increases in out of work benefits. The Coalition government counters by saying that the lower paid will benefit from the more substantial increases in tax thresholds, reducing or removing their income tax liability.

       I will vote with the government. However, I think the best way of cutting benefit bills is to remove eligibility from recent arrivals in the UK, and to be clear that someone out of work who can get a job should do so. The biggest problem with the benefit bill is that there are too many people on benefits. We need positive ways out of no pay and low pay, and better controls on who has access to our benefit system.  UK citizens suffering disability or now retired deserve to be treated decently.

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183 Comments

  1. Cerberus32
    Posted January 8, 2013 at 6:20 am | Permalink

    Totally agree. Paying benefits to recent arrivals while withdrawing benefits from the sick as a result of the discredited ATOS Medical test is unacceptable. And are we paying child benefit for children living in Poland?

    • zorro
      Posted January 8, 2013 at 10:15 am | Permalink

      Yes we are

      zorro

    • A different Simon
      Posted January 8, 2013 at 10:19 am | Permalink

      Yep .

      Someone in rural Poland may take home the equivalent in Zloty’s of 250 Euro’s a month .

      Once the cost of taking a minibus to the town for work are taken into account they will be left with less than UK child benefit for 3 children .

      A return carriage ticket and private health insurance should be a precondition of entry to the UK and absolutely no benefits paid to immigrants .

      The UK is not obliged to even allow EU citizens who are incapable of supporting themself financially to stay in the country , let alone assist them so why is it doing so ?

      • Bazman
        Posted January 8, 2013 at 8:34 pm | Permalink

        Could apply here too for a British person in rural England. Britain is also free to send their labour to Poland. This was the idea. The employers got a good deal with cheap labour, so what is your problem? Is cheap labour not the answer? There’s a thing.

        • APL
          Posted January 9, 2013 at 11:05 pm | Permalink

          Bazman: “Is cheap labour not the answer? ”

          Yea, well – we get their thousands of ‘cheap’ labour, they get half a dozen international financiers paid by international banks.

          On the face of it, we get the better deal, however it is not as if we don’t have plenty of unskilled folk homegrown, is it?

      • sm
        Posted January 9, 2013 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

        Short term vested interests.
        More people, more forced public spending,more gdp,lower wages,higher costs of essentials, higher profitability to capital versus labour. Surplus labour is no longer holding price increases back QE is now directly leading to price increases.

        Exponential growth is not possible longterm with finite limits. Can some politicians check the maths themselves to check the sustainability of their policies wrt to resources?

    • Cliff. Wokingham.
      Posted January 8, 2013 at 11:35 am | Permalink

      John,

      I fear, in line with your leader and his cozy club, you are dealing in semantics.

      Disabled people under retirement age receive either Incapacity Benefit or Employment Support Allowance as their basic benefit. It is true that at the moment, many also recive Disability Living Allowance, but this is being phased out soom by IDS.
      Given that disabled people under retirement age receive IB or ESA, you are not protecting disabled people by restricting these benefits to a one percent increase for the next three years.
      I personally feel that the coalition has treated benefit recipiants rather badly since they came to office.
      You have leaked tales of fraud to the press suggesting that all people on benefits are dishonest. You have sent DWP footage of fraudsters using disabilty claims for personal gain and implying that all disability claimants are swinging the lead. I agree that one false claim is one too many, but there has been almost a hate campaign by this government and the media against sick and disabled people.
      You have found more people fit for work but, you have failed to say that the bar was set much higher; if you move that bar high enough, then no one would qualify for disability handouts. The rhetoric from the government is misleading at best and dishonest at worst.

      Regarding benefits in general; as I understand it, out of work benefits provide the bare minimum required to live on and therefore, a one percent rise with inflation running at a level above one percent, amounts to a cut below the level of minimum money required to live on.
      The ONLY people that survive comfortably on benefits are those with lots of children and rewarding people for breeding is the fundamental problem with our benefit system.

      Child benefit which used to be called family allowance was brought in and paid directly to the mother because the state was afraid that fathers were not handing over the money to the mother to improve the lot of their children. The father used to have a little tax relief once he had children and this was removed and replaced with family allowance. It should be noted that one received nothing for the first child.

      Mr Cameron states that he wants to be family friendly, but his actions suggest the opposite as is the case in far to much of what he says and does.
      To encourage families, why not reintroduce the married man’s allowance and allow married mothers that want to stay at home and look after their children to do so? It is far better for the children and for society as a whole.
      Why not put a limit on the number of children one receives child benefit for? Perhaps two?

      I think in summary, that the coalition has done a great job of demonising some of the most vulnerable people in our country and I would be interested to see whether the suicide rate amongst the disabled has or does increase as the coalition continues its hate campaign against them. It is said that a nation can be judged by how well it looks after its most vulnerable, at this moment in time, our society does not fare too well.

      • uanime5
        Posted January 9, 2013 at 4:25 pm | Permalink

        Why do you think the Conservatives were called the Nasty party in the 1980’s?

        This isn’t just a problem with Cameron but a malicious culture embedded with the Conservatives themselves. They have remained the party that hates the poor, sick, and disabled.

        Reply: This is an absurd libel on the Conservative party.

      • Wilko
        Posted January 9, 2013 at 7:40 pm | Permalink

        If Universal Credit were a single means for Govt to support all deserving people during need, life would be better. A single word title would be better too. So many schemes have been introduced, with immensely complex rules & eligibility criteria that even the most talented fraudsters are not up to speed. Claimants in need are obstructed.

        Either Govt should support a claimant or it should not. Having so many curious schemes with multi-variate fragmented credit & debit payments is mad. Citizens should understand their entitlement without recourse to lengthy research or specialist expertise.

        A single source of Govt support would cut red tape waste & its cost. Perhaps the number of benefit levels could be reduced to 6. They could range from £200pa to £20,000pa or more, depending on individual need. All cases can be assessed, without having a differently-named route & system for all conceivable conditions known to man.

        If a Martian landed & was assigned to create a welfare scheme for earthlings from scratch, would he be so crazy to create the nonsense that presently exists?

        Fairness is another matter, but essential. Some non-ambulant people are unable to work in many types of employment, but some might seek work fulfilment doing so at a domestic laptop, as many of our fittest fellow workers do. Those unable should not experience any sense of force & be paid what they deserve.

      • Credible
        Posted January 9, 2013 at 9:52 pm | Permalink

        Well said.

  2. Posted January 8, 2013 at 6:22 am | Permalink

    MPs’ pay, pensions and benefits should all be pegged at the rate of inflation.

    • A different Simon
      Posted January 8, 2013 at 10:26 am | Permalink

      Ian Hills .

      Not quite .

      MP’s (and all other state sector workers) pensions must be moved from a defined benefit model to defined contribution model .

      Time to stop burdening the next generation with par of the the bill and the risk for other peoples pensions .

    • LB
      Posted January 8, 2013 at 10:38 am | Permalink

      So what happens when the public’s pay isn’t going up as quickly as inflation? Who pays?

      Even more important, check out this link and the bottom of page 4.

      http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/dcp171766_263808.pdf

      5,010 billion pounds of debts just for the state pensions. Given taxes only raise 550 bn a year, and MPs are spending 700 bn, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realize that they cannot pay the state pension as promised. Or the civil servants, or the state second pension.

      The state second pension is interesting because reading through the lines the civil service know a default there would count as fraud.

    • Timaction
      Posted January 8, 2013 at 11:01 am | Permalink

      It is actually shocking to find out that the Country is paying benefits to immigrants who have recently arrived and paid nothing in. Our borders are wide open and will remain so whilst we are in the EU. Cameron has no plans to change this as per his Marr interview. Romania and Bulgarians are coming in Jan 2014! It is equally appalling that the Government thinks that its ok to cap the benefits limit to the average, repeat average wage of £26,000. The benefit recipient gets this without tax/NI so its actually equivilent to well over £30,000 taxed income. So therefore their handouts are well above the average wage. Surely the best measure would be no more than someone on the minimum wage and an emergency handover until they get a job and time limited so they don’t think its a career choice! The Country still needs root and branch reform as socialism is alive and well in the Tory led coalition.

      • uanime5
        Posted January 8, 2013 at 8:00 pm | Permalink

        Given that someone on minimum wage will be claiming nearly all these benefits they won’t be getting more than someone on minimum wage.

      • Bazman
        Posted January 8, 2013 at 8:38 pm | Permalink

        Not that shocking. If they are here doing the same work for the same money as a British employee are they not entitled to the same benefits as British person who has just started work and paid nothing in?

    • Bob
      Posted January 8, 2013 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

      @Ian Hills
      Most private sector workers would be very happy if their pay, pensions and benefits were pegged at the rate of inflation. But where does the money come from?

      But if a business’ profits are not keeping pace with inflation due to costs being foisted on it by government red tape, high energy prices and compulsory pension schemes, then where does the money come from to pay for the increases?

      The bottom line is that public spending and taxation are way too high, because the public sector has become obese. It cannot continue.

      • uanime5
        Posted January 8, 2013 at 8:01 pm | Permalink

        Given how many hundred of billions most of the large companies have in savings it’s clear that what’s reducing company profits isn’t due to the state but due to the decisions of the management.

        • Bob
          Posted January 10, 2013 at 10:49 am | Permalink

          @uanime5

          What do you mean by “savings”?

          How does an increasing cost burden improve profitability?

  3. Brian Taylor
    Posted January 8, 2013 at 6:36 am | Permalink

    The. Whole benefit bill would be helped if only those allowed in to this country were those that had a job to start immediately or those that could prove they had means to support themselves and there families.
    Also those employer’s wishing to bring workers in must first take one off the job seeker’s allowance,this should apply to all countries including the EU!

    • LB
      Posted January 8, 2013 at 10:41 am | Permalink

      Even more simple, how about this.

      1. You can stay if you pay more than 11k a year in tax. 11K is the average spend per person by the state. If it goes up or down, the 11K changes in line

      2. Tax return at the end of the year. You either top up or leave. If you have paid more a thank you. [Would be nice for the rest of us, but apparently we’re (unimportant?) for paying for all the things for others]

      3. First year, you pay up front, or you take out a bond. eg. Employer pays.

      Nice and simple. Non racist. Deals with the BNP because if you pay 11K a year in tax, you aren’t on benefits.

    • Posted January 8, 2013 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

      Absolutely agree. Many countries insist on this – and also a clean bill of health with X-rays to prove it.

    • uanime5
      Posted January 8, 2013 at 8:04 pm | Permalink

      Given that economic migrants are coming here to work in low paid jobs, many immigrants already have jobs. Unfortunately for every foreigner that has a British job there’s one less job available for British workers.

      • Edward
        Posted January 9, 2013 at 5:31 pm | Permalink

        Tut tut Uni,
        ” for every foreigner that has a British job there is one less job available for British workers”

        I thought you were telling us that they are our fellow workers from the EU and had no effect on our job market or unemployment levels.
        I’m very disappointed in you, its a very non PC statement. Marx would have been very upset to hear you say such a thing.

  4. alan jutson
    Posted January 8, 2013 at 6:38 am | Permalink

    Its a no brainer.

    I completely agree with your comments.

    In addition, the sooner we have complete control of our borders, and can limit and screen the entry of people who come to our country the better, we may then stand a chance of getting some control back.

  5. Posted January 8, 2013 at 6:41 am | Permalink

    So the incentives to work will reduce further with low pay, kept low by the inflow of low paid workers, increases in benefits at 1%, an over sized state sector and increases in taxes and the costs of getting to and from work.

    I assume therefore we will see more and more people on benefits and the recovery will be very slow, if at all. Is the plan just to leave a big mess to Labour in 2015? It certainly seems to be.

    • Bob
      Posted January 8, 2013 at 12:56 pm | Permalink

      @lifelogic
      “Is the plan just to leave a big mess to Labour in 2015?”

      That’s the only plausible explanation I’ve heard so far.

    • Derek Green
      Posted January 8, 2013 at 1:44 pm | Permalink

      “Is the plan to just leave a big mess to Labour in 2015 ” You really have to be joking !
      It is Labour’s mess we are trying to clear up. We are getting used to it because they wreck the economy EVERY time they get in.

      • uanime5
        Posted January 8, 2013 at 8:09 pm | Permalink

        It’s the banker’s mess, not Labour’s. Given that the Conservatives were calling for even less banking regulation the crash would have been much worse if they had been in power.

        • Edward
          Posted January 9, 2013 at 5:37 pm | Permalink

          Uni, It was the Labour left who were in favour of bailing out the Bankers, nationalising being such an instinct which “save the world Gordon” could not resist.
          Those on the right wing of politics would have protected the individual depositors but have allowed these failed companies to go bust.

    • uanime5
      Posted January 8, 2013 at 8:08 pm | Permalink

      The coalition previously cut tax credits and the result was less money in the economy and a double dip recession. It seems that they haven’t learned that reducing the amount of money that millions of working people have to spend is very bad for the economy.

      • Bob
        Posted January 10, 2013 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

        @uanime5
        “The coalition previously cut tax credits and the result was less money in the economy”

        Money that the government pay out in benefits is taken from the economy through taxation, and then given out in benefit payments minus the cost of administering the process. Some people are paying tax only to get it back in the form of benefits. It’s called “churn” and surely even you can see the pointlessness of it?

        The tax and benefits system has become a huge but failed social engineering project which discourages self reliance and hard work and encourages indolence and irresponsible behaviour such as unmarried teenage mothers.

        Leave more of the wealth in the hands of those that create it and they will employ it efficiently create more of it and in turn provide employment for others. If the less well off want to be better off then they should work harder and smarter.

        This does not apply to the genuinely sick and disabled who should get the support they need from the state, but the able bodied should not be allowed to feign sickness or disability as an alternative to working.

        Benefits are a drain on the economy, and should therefore be restricted to those in genuine need. Watching a grossly overweight women piling cream cakes and biscuits into the basket of their state funded mobility scooters highlights to me exactly what is wrong with the system; less in benefits means less money for cream cakes which results in weight loss which would restore her ability to walk and therefore save the cost of a mobility scooter and it’s associated running costs. Win win!

  6. colliemum
    Posted January 8, 2013 at 7:02 am | Permalink

    I applaud your intention of working to remove eligibility from the welfare bill. It is frightening how far spread the attitude of getting something for nothing is – and how left-wing politicians are clamouring for ‘taxing the millionaires’ from the USA to the EU and the UK.
    I think that the time has come to show up these politicians (yes, I am cross, I just heard a Labour man on BBC go on about how taxing ‘millionaires’ more would mean money to create jobs ….) for what they are: MPs of rotten boroughs who promise to take from others so as to give to their clients, not from the goodness of their hearts, but so that they can stay at the fleshpots of Westminster and enrich themselves.
    I think the time has come to become extremely fierce on cutting taxes and cutting government spending. Else we will arrive at a situation where those with work will have to support not just 50% of government spending.
    This is not just a problem for the UK – it is happening in the USA as well as in the EU.
    It is as if our combined politicians have a death wish for our society.

    • LB
      Posted January 8, 2013 at 10:42 am | Permalink

      Intention? It’s just hot air.

      e.g We will publish a full set of accounts. That was John’s promise. Not been done. None of the government bodies put the pension’s debts on the books. Treasury denies having any information about it. It’s lying, because I’ve FOI’d other departments and there have been extensive meetings with them.

    • Bob
      Posted January 8, 2013 at 1:00 pm | Permalink

      @colliemum
      “so that they can stay at the fleshpots of Westminster”

      Que?

      Is this another scandal being suppressed from publication by fear of Leveson?

    • uanime5
      Posted January 8, 2013 at 8:11 pm | Permalink

      Given how many working people currently claim benefits I doubt they’ll appreciate their MPs cutting the amount they get.

  7. Leon Butler
    Posted January 8, 2013 at 7:24 am | Permalink

    Spot on, Mr. Redwood. In an age of globalisation where Britain’s economic competition now comes from countries with little or no social welfare, we can not afford to throw hundreds of billions of Pounds at those who do not want to work at the expense of those who contribute to the economy. This is a cold, hard, economic reality. If we continue to do this, the country will collapse under the crippling weight of debt repayments there will soon be no jobs left in Britain. Some people say there are no jobs and yet somehow several million immigrants seem to be working.
    It’s almost impossible to be served by a Brit in a London Coffee or Sandwich shop. The staff are almost exclusively from overseas.
    The UK should not be letting more people into the country when we have 2.5m British
    people unemployed. That is a recipe for social problems. I wish Cameron would get a grip
    on this. He also needs to stop benefits being extended to those from EU, and stop the opening of our borders to Bulgarians and Romanians in 2014. If 1m Poles came, there could be many more from these two very poor countries where wages are a fraction of those in the UK. Let’s get our own people into work .

    • Bob
      Posted January 8, 2013 at 1:07 pm | Permalink

      @Leon Butler
      “It’s almost impossible to be served by a Brit in a London Coffee or Sandwich shop. The staff are almost exclusively from overseas.”

      It was almost impossible to be served by a Brit in a London Coffee or Sandwich shop before overseas waiters arrived.

      Brits seem to struggle to carry a cup across the room without spilling half the contents. I guess that’s why Brit run cafes prefer if you to collect your tea and coffee from the counter.

      • Electro-Kevin
        Posted January 9, 2013 at 1:49 pm | Permalink

        In the regions Brits do these jobs perfectly well.

    • Gwen
      Posted January 8, 2013 at 2:28 pm | Permalink

      I couldn’t have said it better myself.

    • Bazman
      Posted January 8, 2013 at 8:47 pm | Permalink

      The problem is Leon that many of the people who work do not really contribute to the economy as they do not earn enough for reasons beyond their control such as low wages. An inconvenient truth for you beliefs.
      Some people say there are no jobs and yet somehow several million immigrants seem to be working?
      Have a think why and get back to us if you can. Is it because the lower paid British are lazy? This is lazy thinking. Maybe they should undercut the immigrants in low wage bidding war, passing savings onto the state the employer and the customer?

    • Jon Burgess
      Posted January 8, 2013 at 10:22 pm | Permalink

      But how can Cameron do anything about EU immigration? Free movement of people is a fundamental plank of the EU.
      The only way that the UK can properly regain control of its borders is to leave the EU. This is not Cameron’s or the Tory party’s policy, as we know all too well. They would rather be in the EU under nebulous and non specific ‘re negotiated terms’ whatever they are, but you can be sure that limiting EU migration in any way will not be negotiable.
      Vote UKIP.

  8. Nina Andreeva
    Posted January 8, 2013 at 8:31 am | Permalink

    Could we also think about stopping Goodwin’s pension too? Why is the tax payer still on the hook for this multi million pound liability when we now know LIBOR fixing was taking place on his watch too? If he does not like it he can go to court and try and get it back. Its not as though he has not banked enough of our money so far to be able to do so

    Do you think Sants deserves his knighthood for his services to banking in the run up to 2008?

    • Disaffected
      Posted January 8, 2013 at 9:54 am | Permalink

      JR’s last sentence is spot on. Child benefit should be scrapped for every one. No one to claim any benefit or health service unless they have put at least five years tax in the pot.

      Don’t forget CCHQ labelled their rural grass root voters as Turnip Taliban. So Cameron does not like his grass root rural voters, Christians, UKIP supporters, savers, pensioners, prudent people with pensions or strivers which are getting squeezed by tax every day to fulfil his green tosh and foreign give away schemes- or his Libyan war for regime change.

      In contrast he does like: overseas aid, gay marriage, more EU, Coulson, Brooks, Laws, Mitchell and is the self-proclaimed heir to Blair. I am not sure Osborne has got the strategy right to win votes!! Perhaps he needs to concentrate his efforts in the Treasury and do a full working week there instead.

      In the middle ages water mills were preferred every time ahead of wind mills to generate power- note to Lib Dems you are over 700 years behind the times. We, the taxpayer, cannot afford your stupidity with the energy policy.

      • forthurst
        Posted January 8, 2013 at 1:26 pm | Permalink

        Should the ‘Turnip Taliban’ coin an equally pejoritive term to describe the self-appointed metropolitian liberal elite that have infested the Tory Party and are driving voters away equivalent to the RINOs (Republican In Name Only) in the USA?

        • Bazman
          Posted January 8, 2013 at 8:52 pm | Permalink

          Daily Mail Taliban and their many followers. Funny how there is little citation of the Observer. Wonder why. To intellectual for them? To truthful more like.

      • Bazman
        Posted January 8, 2013 at 5:20 pm | Permalink

        Child benefit to be replaced with what?

        • Emil_1055
          Posted January 8, 2013 at 7:41 pm | Permalink

          Er, how about only having children when you can afford to support them yourself, you know like we used to.. Might help alleviate the only possible man made contribution to climate change as well.

          • uanime5
            Posted January 9, 2013 at 4:29 pm | Permalink

            That didn’t work then and it won’t work know. Unless you want a huge number of children being put into care, at the taxpayers expense, because their families can’t afford to look after them your plan isn’t going to work.

        • Jon Burgess
          Posted January 8, 2013 at 10:25 pm | Permalink

          Sweet FA Baz.

          • Bazman
            Posted January 9, 2013 at 3:12 pm | Permalink

            Starve em’. Usual nonsense. Then not only have to be poor in rented house, but not have children? Often this is the only thing many have got and have had the children whilst employed in good jobs. House paid for permanent job with at least 100k in the bank, then children? Retarded simplistic right wing thinking. How do you hold down your jobs with you ten year old political views? Ram it.

      • uanime5
        Posted January 8, 2013 at 8:15 pm | Permalink

        So your plan is to tell children who have just left school that they can’t claim any benefits or healthcare until they have worked for 5 years. How long do you think it will be before the 1 million unemployed 18-24 year olds either riot or are pushed into a life of crime?

        • Edward
          Posted January 9, 2013 at 5:46 pm | Permalink

          It is a strange and dreadful assertion of yours uni, which you regularly peddle on this site, that working people, or if you prefer, people who are less well off, are only decent and honest and well behaved when they are employed and that as soon as they are unemployed they will resort to criminality.
          Very very unfair on the 99.9% of decent and honest people who you are insulting with this ridiculous claim .

          • Bazman
            Posted January 10, 2013 at 10:44 am | Permalink

            Crime rises as poverty rises. Indisputable fact. Are they to have nothing and be happy with it?

          • Edward
            Posted January 10, 2013 at 2:26 pm | Permalink

            Wrong again Baz it is not”an indesputable fact”
            Perhaps in your left wing fantasy world but there are many studies that disprove the correlation between poverty, unemployment and levels of crime, for example:-
            http://www.civitas.org.uk/crime/FraserCrime.pdf-

            There is more crime per 100 people now than centuries ago yet poverty was greater then.

    • Shade
      Posted January 8, 2013 at 11:17 am | Permalink

      Nina, whilst not supporting Fred, the taxpayer is not on the hook for his pension. Unlike the unfunded State pension, I am fairly sure that Fred’s is funded by contributions paid during his working life by himself and his employer – mainly before RBS got into trouble.

      Most of the anger over the banks is misplaced. It is the government that is ultimately responsible for the failure of the system by allowing it to happen, encouraging disastrous lending and taking away supervision of the banks from the BoE. There were clearly many totally unjustified bonuses but that is not the main issue (- and they produced a high tax take). After their totally ineffective regulation of the banks, the government should have let them go to the wall when they failed.

      Toodle pip

      • Nina Andreeva
        Posted January 8, 2013 at 10:11 pm | Permalink

        Absolutely the banks should have been allowed to go to the wall with the bondholders and shareholders sorting it out with Applegarth, Goodwin and Co in the courts. However the trust fund kids claims that we are all in this together ring a bit hollow when those who caused this mess get away with it and with no monetary loss to themselves whatsoever

  9. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted January 8, 2013 at 8:31 am | Permalink

    JR: “I think the best way of cutting benefit bills is to remove eligibility from recent arrivals in the UK, and to be clear that someone out of work who can get a job should do so.”
    How are you going to do it? Just what will you do to stop large numbers of immigrants coming here from Bulgaria and Romania from December 2013? It’s fine saying what should be done, what we need is to see some action.

    Reply: The Prime Minister now says he wishes to tackle this issue – the first task was to highl;ight it and get the government to take it seriously. I have proposed two possible ways of dealing with it, one domestic and one EU. Now it’s up to the government

    • Brian Tomkinson
      Posted January 8, 2013 at 9:24 am | Permalink

      Reply to reply,
      Thanks, John, but when you write ” Now it’s up to the government” that is what worries me.

      • Gwen
        Posted January 8, 2013 at 2:36 pm | Permalink

        Yes, we want action NOW not at the end of 2013 when it is too late and the Bulgarians/Romanians are coming through in droves. Surely, there is a quicker way through this horrible nightmare? We are all angry and it’s time David Cameron got on with it. I have voted Conservative all my life, but to be honest, if DC carries on just throwing the very important issues into the long grass, my vote for the Conservatives, like many others on this site, will cease.

    • Winston Smith
      Posted January 8, 2013 at 9:38 am | Permalink

      Translation: Nothing will be done to stop them coming here and accessing our services and benefits, but let’s try to convince the peasants we are doing something.

    • Iain Gill
      Posted January 8, 2013 at 10:22 am | Permalink

      John,

      Once someone is here, either legally settled paying taxes and contributing, or married to someone who is, with British children, most of this matters not a jot. We are never going to allow families with British children to starve are we?

      On the other hand all the thousands of families having kids here when the parents are only here on work visas should be going back to their home country and getting no more than Brits in their home countries do.

      Regards

    • Nina Andreeva
      Posted January 8, 2013 at 10:26 am | Permalink

      Erm they are here already and the Coalition is happily paying them for being so

      http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1389282/Benefits-boulevard-Built-Romania–YOUR-money.html

      • Bazman
        Posted January 9, 2013 at 6:43 pm | Permalink

        With a name like Nina Andreeva are you trying to shut the door behind you?

    • eddyh
      Posted January 8, 2013 at 10:43 am | Permalink

      Re. reply. “The Prime Minister now says he wishes to tackle the issue” Is this another “cast iron” promise?

    • Bazman
      Posted January 8, 2013 at 5:16 pm | Permalink

      Child care costs make the job untenable? They live in the North and the job is in London? Then what? Get an East European? Good idea Brian.

  10. Leslie Singleton
    Posted January 8, 2013 at 8:41 am | Permalink

    That immigrants should be able to arrive and instantly be entitled to full entitlements and the NHS that the indigenous population have paid for does not make sense and is simply not right. We want something very much closer to Civis Romanus Sum. I am not aware that anyone is forcing the immigrants to come.

    • LB
      Posted January 8, 2013 at 10:43 am | Permalink

      I am not aware that anyone is forcing the immigrants to come.

      ==========

      Politicians in EU are. Most immigrants are economic refugees from the political and economic disasters in the EU zone.

    • Bob
      Posted January 8, 2013 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

      @Leslie Singleton
      “I am not aware that anyone is forcing the immigrants to come.”

      Not forcing, but compelling through generous incentives.

    • Posted January 8, 2013 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

      What happened to the clause that stated that immigrants to an EU country should not be a burden to that State’s welfare system?

      • Timaction
        Posted January 9, 2013 at 11:16 am | Permalink

        Bernard, precisely. This is an EU 2004 Austerity directive that can be enacted but hasn’t because our politicians are useless and our Sir Humphries worse. Spain has enacted this to stop Brits receiving free health benefits there as they can no longer afford it. When is the International Health service going to enforce this………………………never! They don’t care as its yours and my taxes they’re wasting. Then they wonder why people avoid tax when they waste it on the now dead politically correct nonsense. When is the Health Minister getting serious over health treaments to foreign people or do the Tories think the English taxpayer should pay for the worlds health, housing and education costs? The CBI do as the EU (todays press) is good wage suppression for their profits at our expense whilst they employ more minimum wage Eastern Europeans at our “net” public services expense. EU regs also gets rid of the small fry competition!They should be made to pay a premium to cover public service costs then they wouldn’t be so kean and may want to take on some unemployed young English people.

      • A different Simon
        Posted January 9, 2013 at 11:39 am | Permalink

        Much like the deliberate destruction of pensions , it got ignored as an appeasement to the CBI .

        Mass immigration + socialisation of the costs associated with it = cheap labour + a bill for society .

  11. Leslie Singleton
    Posted January 8, 2013 at 8:56 am | Permalink

    The Government should be making a much better fist of rebutting Brother Milliband’s knee-jerk references to cutting tax on the rich. Do the Government not believe that above a certain point increases are counterproductive? And why can they not point out and emphasize that any s0-called cuts are only going some way to annulling the last minute increases Labour left behind them in their panic at what they had done to the Economy?

    • HJBbradders
      Posted January 9, 2013 at 10:45 am | Permalink

      Quite right. I just cannot understand why the government doesn’t talk about the Laffer curve: zero tax-rate, zero tax-take, 100% tax-rate, zero tax-take, because no one bothers to work. In between, there is a maximum tax-take; the government don’t really seem to have the slightest idea about PR. Why do they let Labour get away with it? Perhaps our masters are simply innumerate.

      It is not a question of tax cuts for the rich, it is about maximising the total tax-take.

  12. Nick
    Posted January 8, 2013 at 9:40 am | Permalink

    Can’t we just reverse taper job seekers allowance and many others until you’ve got 5 years of NI contributions, meaning if you can’t get a job you stay in education or training and you can’t get a house off the council.
    Whilst low paid work may not pay your long term prospects once you’ve had a promotion or two are much better than staying out of work. Get them over the first five years and we’ll sort a good chunk of the youth out (there are jobs, the Poles find them) and also stop new immigrants from getting the benefits at the same time, if they’ve worked for 5 years and paid tax I’m not too fussed if they get some benefits when out of work. If they are working in the grey market and don’t pay tax/NI then they wouldn’t get benefits either.

    • A different Simon
      Posted January 8, 2013 at 10:34 am | Permalink

      Nick ,

      ( Some? ed)Immigrants usually operate a closed shop .

      They employ very few Britons .

      I agree with what you say but would add that the cost of living needs to be brought down so the lower pay becomes livable .

    • Wilko
      Posted January 8, 2013 at 11:48 am | Permalink

      The concept of National Insurance enables contributors to be assisted during times of need, drawing from the fund they generate. House & car insurance schemes compensate only those who pay for cover. The way the UK Govt National Insurance scheme now works (if ‘works’ is a valid description), contributors are responsible for any claimant the Govt accepts.

      Reverse-tapering would lead toward a better outcome, but simple efficiency would be better. Govt recklessly entangles itself in needless complication. Absence of simple efficient systems is a major fault.

    • uanime5
      Posted January 8, 2013 at 8:21 pm | Permalink

      So your plan is to force the unemployed to remain at school/university until they magically become employable? Do you have any idea how expensive that will be?

      Also there’s no training available so you can just discount that.

      Your delusions about the number of jobs and type of jobs available (most jobs the Poles work in aren’t the type where you get promoted) undermine your argument.

  13. Iain Moore
    Posted January 8, 2013 at 9:43 am | Permalink

    The heart of the problem is low wages ( and high cost of living).

    Employers have unloaded their social costs onto the tax payer, like pensions, and they have have unloaded part of their wage bill onto the tax payer with Tax credits. Making ‘work pay’ by impoverishing welfare recipients to make badly paid jobs to look good is not really a sustainable strategy, and will just hang a big sign above the Conservatives saying the Nasty party.

    To correct this you can go down one of two routes, you can go down the big state solution of legislating on minimum wage rate and living wage route, or you deal with it by market means, get to the core the problem, the over supply of labour, which is mass immigration, and drive up low wage rates by cutting off the over supply of labour.

    What we are seeing at the moment is the disastrous situation of trying to compensate for mass immigration by subsidising rotten paid jobs with tax subsidies. All this is doing is distorting the employment market so that we create more low paid jobs which are subsidised by taxing the profitable high value jobs and employers, which is a sure fired way of beggaring the country, something we can now see in the figures where even though we have rising employment, to the highest levels ever, our in work welfare bill is rising while our productivity levels are collapsing.

    Advocating raising wages might be a heretical thing to say, especially to Conservatives who have had to go to the trenches to fight the Unions, but as with everything too much of a good thing tends to turn out to be rather bad for you. Mass immigration and low wages I believe is now proving to be disastrous for our economy. An employers response to a rising wage bill should be to invest in productivity, is that such a bad thing? Of course at the moment all they have to do is ship in another batch of low wage immigrants, whose wage the state will subsidise.

    Trying to deny immigrants access to welfare is just trying to deal with the symptom, it doesn’t touch the disease.

    • Iain Moore
      Posted January 9, 2013 at 8:53 am | Permalink

      I note my comment is still awaiting moderation , why?

      Its a bit pointless going to the effort of writing it if it isn’t going to get shown, and might as well not be published if it gets put up days later.

      • Iain Gill
        Posted January 9, 2013 at 10:35 pm | Permalink

        part of the charm of this site is that its a one man band, john himself is posting, reviewing comments, taking part, and so on, so inevitably when the poor guy is working hard (and I am sure he has been) and busy then the site lags behind sometimes. indeed sometimes i am sure john has to time out and ration his time. it does help give john a better insight into what real people are thinking than many other MPs who only ever interact with the poltical bubble. but you need to cut him some slack and give him credit for doing his best. fine site it is too.

  14. backofanenvelope
    Posted January 8, 2013 at 9:48 am | Permalink

    This government is totally cack-handed. They are going to collect a lot of flak over this, so why not go for a complete halt in uprating state benefits. After all, 1% of JSA is about 65p a week. Nobody is going to thank them for that.

    As to immigrants; lets split the problem. Non-EU foreign nationals should get no tax-payer funded benefits or services other than emergency medical care. EU foreign nationals – well, lets just apply the EU’s own rules to them – there are plenty of them.

    • Nina Andreeva
      Posted January 8, 2013 at 10:40 am | Permalink

      EU rules are that you can pick up benefits if you are in another member state. Its all to do with increasing the mobility of labour so that if you hit a period of unemployment you have money available until you find another job.

      It is not just us who are being ripped off. I saw a lovely program on TV the other day about Irish crackheads living it up at the expense of the Dutch taxpayer in Amsterdam.

      If Dave was serious on this one (which he is not as he thinks gay rights, windmills and foreign aid are the voters real concerns at the minute) he would be getting together with the other North European EU states to put an end to this system of benefits arbitrage. Until he does you can take it as another squawk from another failed relaunch

    • Bazman
      Posted January 8, 2013 at 5:13 pm | Permalink

      A good example of out of touch thinking. Osbourne and the rest of the chums in London especially. Including Labour.
      https://www.gov.uk/jobseekers-allowance/what-youll-get
      65p they would not thank you for it? One these rates? If you are a few pence short the shop will just let it go?
      This way of thinking must apply much more to those on hundreds of thousands a year being given a ‘few grand’ a year. I mean how much is lunch in London these days? Ram it.

  15. Iain Gill
    Posted January 8, 2013 at 10:03 am | Permalink

    Re “UK citizens suffering disability or now retired deserve to be treated decently.” I would say “Anyone with settled status in the UK suffering serious illness, disability, now retired, or widowed with children deserve to be treated decently” but make it a lot harder to get settled status. Probably the one category I would add are parents married to a Brit who have yet to gain settled status if widowed or becoming disabled, although it doesn’t fit a neat soundbite.

    A couple contributing significantly to society, bringing up children, should be helped a lot more if one of them dies than the genuinely feckless!

    Re “We need positive ways out of no pay and low pay” make training or education tax deductable up to say 5 K per year within a family, let the citizens decide how best to invest any money directed at this rather than the state – they will make better decisions than the state.

    Also when a large employer closes destroying the jobs market in an area we need a much more organised reaction, including reviewing whether the state should continue to subsidise housing in that area. This has happened often enough that we should be able to put together an efficient task force to deal with it, but mostly the reaction from the state is mediocre and wasteful. Some areas are still unemployment wastelands 20, 30, 40 years from the original large employer closing. We need to make it easier to move away from an area with few jobs, change the incentives in the housing system, keep your place in the NHS queue if you move address, and so on.

    People who have worked and paid taxes the majority of their adult life should be treated differently to folk who have not. Even if its only a 10 quid a week difference when claiming benefit, there should be a clear recognition of the difference. The incentives in this will pay for themselves by changing the dynamics.

    Folk from outside the EC here on work visas, and their families, should be paying for full medical insurance and medical costs here, and for their childrens schooling – unless and only to the extent their home country provides reciprocal benefits for British families working there.

    Working folk entitles to state help should be getting tax codes that reflect this, rather than the current nonsense of being taxed on one hand and given benefits in another.

  16. Acorn
    Posted January 8, 2013 at 10:29 am | Permalink

    Meanwhile, the economy is tanking and MPs fiddle while the UK burns. Can you reckon this; some of them EU buggers, are buying pounds as a safe haven!!! OK, not as much as they are buying Swiss Francs say. Anyway, they are forcing up the pounds value and knocking our exports to the EU. Counter-party wise, I haven’t noticed a drop in the price of BMWs.

    “Over the past year, the ability of UK businesses to export successfully to Europe has been further hampered by the appreciation of the sterling against the euro, primarily reflecting the economic uncertainty surrounding the single currency area. UK exports have as a result become more expensive compared with our main trading partners and have weakened. The EU as a whole accounts for around half of UK trade in goods. Conversely, imports from these countries have become comparatively cheaper and have increased in volume.” (ONS).

    The following makes grim reading http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/dcp171766_294460.pdf .

  17. A different Simon
    Posted January 8, 2013 at 10:36 am | Permalink

    What about taxpayer funded subsidies for companies ?

    The designed to be abused ICT visa scheme for instance ?

    • Iain Gill
      Posted January 8, 2013 at 7:51 pm | Permalink

      I note Cameron has said ICT visa system is here to stay “as is” as part of his announcement, you could just see the votes slipping away leaving him in his little dream land.

  18. stred
    Posted January 8, 2013 at 10:45 am | Permalink

    As far as I know, if a British person moved to most other EU countries and immediately claimed unemployment and other benefits, they would not receive any. JR. Has any survey of this been made by the government?

    The benefits are more generous in most neighbouring countries and the health services better, so why do migrants from the poorer countries choose the UK as their favourite destination?

  19. Posted January 8, 2013 at 10:56 am | Permalink

    The government should take people out of welfare. The Child benefit cut does this. Good. Abolish working tax credit and use the money to cut taxes. More people taken out of the welfare system. Dramatically restrict the extra pensioner benefits to those on incomes below £15,000. More people removed from Welfare.

    • uanime5
      Posted January 8, 2013 at 8:28 pm | Permalink

      Since you clearly know nothing about benefits allow me to tell you why your idea has no chance of working.

      1) Millions working part time earn so little that they don’t pay income tax. So cutting their benefits will leave them worse off, not better.

      2) Millions of people are only able to afford to work because the tax credits supplement their low income. By cutting these you’ll make being on benefits much more profitable.

      3) Millions of people get more in benefits than they pay in taxes, so your plan will leave them worse off.

      In conclusion all your plan will do is force the poor into greater poverty and give the wealthy a large tax cut. In other words a plan to cause more riots.

      • A different Simon
        Posted January 9, 2013 at 11:28 pm | Permalink

        You raise a good point Uanime5 ,

        If the super rich want to live in a country which is safe they shouldn’t push the serfs too far .

        One would have thought that it would make sense to resist the temptation to try and profit from essentials like food and housing rather than go down the road of private police forces or living in a different country .

        The home office and security forces were paranoid about the possibility pf civil unrest on a massive scale about 4 years ago . They may be again soon .

  20. Roy Grainger
    Posted January 8, 2013 at 10:59 am | Permalink

    “However, I think the best way of cutting benefit bills is to remove eligibility from recent arrivals in the UK”

    The political debate in thise country is always conducted in a vacuum that assumes we are the only country in the world with these problems and that we have to invent our own solutions. I bet hardly anyone in UK has a clue how (say) education or the health service is organised in France or Italy or Germany – this tendency is embodied in those on the left who say “the NHS is the envy of the world” based on no knowledge at all of how “the world” organises their own healthcare.

    The proposal to withold benefits from recent immigrants is a case in point – you will search in vain through the newspapers in this country to discover what our EU partners do about this problem – it must be a big issue in Germany for example. Reducing the influx of cheap labour (not benefit seekers) is something to be avoided though, a very low unemployment rate will return us to the 1970s with unbridled union leverage and power and hence wage inflation No politician would say it, but there is an “optimum” unemployment rate and it is not zero.

    • Iain Gill
      Posted January 8, 2013 at 7:46 pm | Permalink

      Re “the NHS is the envy of the world” as Brits travel more they can see the NHS is sub 3rd world. it is only bias in the media that stops this being rammed home every day.

    • StevenL
      Posted January 9, 2013 at 1:13 am | Permalink

      Low unemployment in the Blair years didn’t see a big increase in union power did it? Employees were in a better bargaining position when jobs were plentiful and employers had to compete more. Now, with higher unemployment, I’d note that unionised BT call centre workers were able to negotiate pay rises. Unions are surely potentially more useful to workers at times of economic hardship?

      • Dr Dan Holdsworth
        Posted January 9, 2013 at 2:56 pm | Permalink

        Unions exist and thrive where there either isn’t much effective employment law, or where something approaching a closed shop exists. Union activity in most UK business is becoming less common simply because workers have redress in law for most grievances, and this redress is fair and relatively easy to use.

        It is also worth noting that over the thirteen years of Labour rule that preceded the Coalition, none of the Thatcher reforms to union law were repealed. Perhaps they just didn’t find the time; thinking up a new criminal offence for every day in power must be quite challenging work.

    • HJBbradders
      Posted January 9, 2013 at 10:55 am | Permalink

      But the NHS IS the envy of the world; the third world !

    • sm
      Posted January 9, 2013 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

      You should check statistics on the economic returns to capital & labour over the last 40-50 years. Why do you think unions actually arose? It was out of real need.
      A given unemployment rate should be a function of job changes, anything more suggests economic policy is favouring capital rather than labour. This is our money/tax system built on privately created fiat debt or publicly created but controlled for the few.

  21. Wilko
    Posted January 8, 2013 at 11:03 am | Permalink

    Voting with the Govt enables the very slight improvement the restriction to 1% increase achieves. The last paragraph of John’s blog grasps the nettle to act on what needs doing. Eligibility & Control are far too loose.

    ‘Benefit’ itself is an unfortunate description. Benefit attracts. Naturally, citizens want the benefit of a healthy life, adequate means of paying for what they need & to enjoy the benefit of a crime-free environment, among many other beneficial things. Most do not expect the Govt to use other people’s earnings to pay for them.

    Deserving people are the special cases which Govt funding exists to support.

    Non-deserving claimants shirk. Shirkers attribute ‘greed’ to high earners who want to keep their own money. In contrast, it is shirkers’ cheating snatch of other people’s money via Govt benefit where greed lurks most deep.

    ‘Charity’ might be a more suitable term than ‘Benefit’. Perhaps benefit claimants should be licensed & listed on a Govt Charity Register. Treating the payment as charitable would remove the no-need-to-work incentive that the word ‘Benefit’ generates.

    Since it is taxpayers’ money involved, Govt expenditure should be transparent & reported to those who paid for it. A website listing recipients might seem like over-exposure, yet only the dishonest seek full concealment within the shadows of Govt confusion.

    • uanime5
      Posted January 8, 2013 at 8:33 pm | Permalink

      Given how the wealthy try to avoid paying as little as possible in taxes it’s clear that they are the problem, not the poor who through no fault of their own can’t get a job.

      Also millions of people in low paid jobs do want benefits because they can’t survive on the pittance that is minimum wage.

      • Wilko
        Posted January 9, 2013 at 4:59 pm | Permalink

        Deserving people should be supported during times of need.

        A wealthy person who wants a garden shed, but decides to buy something instead, which does not incur VAT, is a tax-avoider. We all try to make sensible cost-efficient choices. Avoiding unwanted expense is a natural response. Few would feel such actions warranted pursuit by the VAT fraud squad.

        Some schemes which wealthy persons use go to extreme lengths to avoid what Govt rightly regards as bad practice; virtual evasion. The main instrument of fault is however the needlessly complex & incompetent tax system. Issuing tax credits is seen by many as a benevolent means of helping. Tax credits are a crazily wasteful attempt to remedy collection failure. Tax collection should be simple, efficient & fair.

        Unless financially neutral, a citizen should either be charged tax or receive support: Not both.

      • A different Simon
        Posted January 10, 2013 at 12:19 am | Permalink

        I agree with you Uanime5 .

        Trouble is successive Governments have taken the easy option of extending benefits rather than sorting out the underlying problems .

        Once benefits become the norm it is only a matter of time before the system collapses .

        Even the average wage is not enough for a single person to pay their way . At best it will support them during working life but it won’t enable them to salt away enough for old age .

      • APL
        Posted January 10, 2013 at 9:14 pm | Permalink

        uanime5: “Given how the wealthy try to avoid paying as little as possible in taxes ”

        Yea, I agree with him too.

  22. Neil Craig
    Posted January 8, 2013 at 11:28 am | Permalink

    I agree with you but I think the primary way to cut government spending is by cutting quangos, subsidies, unnecessary regulation enforcement and bureaucratic padding. Not only are these greater than the welfare budget they overwhelmingly have a negative economic effect (eg windmill subsidies).

  23. sm
    Posted January 8, 2013 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

    So whats the odds inflation is about to take off? Judge them by their actions.

    So we now have a planned slow burn (deflation in money supplied to the depressed part of the economy)
    – by reducing benefits
    – by continual increase in supply of labour
    -reduction in demand via increased backdoor taxes on essentials.

    Basle III (capital requirements ) i understand have been relaxed, now lets see if the remaining have’s can now gear up to continue the spiral, possibly by buying distressed housing assets and renting them back to the sheep for the public subsidy.

    Why are we allowing such disparities in wealth accumulation to occur worldwide? Its not socially useful to the UK so why pursue it as an economic policy.

    Isn’t it time to change the money system to favour the workers and productivity, this is protection of the current money system to favour the current incumbents and their debt driven rent seeking / extraction of wealth model of capitalism.

    Perhaps private banks should be allowed but only if they use their own money- not state backed paper.

    It seems like the entire country has been captured!

  24. David John Wilson
    Posted January 8, 2013 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

    For working people this 1% limit needs to be matched by an increase in the minimum wage aiming in the medium term to make it equal to the living wage. Employers need to be helped to pay this by reducing their NI contributions by using the extra tax that the increased minmum wage will generate.

    The government also needs to look at the 16 hour working week boundary when income support stops. The costs that this causes to the NHS for example by increasing the number of agency nurses employed needs to be decreased.

    I totally support the idea that there needs to be a qualification of making five years NI contributions before anyone is entitled to most benefits. Full time education should however be taken into account when calculating the qualifying years with say half a year being credited for each year of education.

    • uanime5
      Posted January 8, 2013 at 8:38 pm | Permalink

      A 1% increase in minimum wage is a 2% cut in real terms due to high inflation. So as the amount people are getting paid will decrease in real terms the amount taken in taxes will decrease in real terms.

      Unless nurses are getting minimum wage the 16 hour working week boundary won’t apply to them because their salaries will be too high.

      Requiring a minimum number of years before people can claim benefits will be disastrous due to the current high levels of youth unemployment. Expect more young people to be pushed into crime because of this.

  25. Posted January 8, 2013 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for this clear post John.

    “We need positive ways out of no pay and low pay, and better controls on who has access to our benefit system.”

    We need to focus on reconnecting communities and helping neighbours to know and support each other.

    Where people who are struggling to engage with work have local friends who listen to them, talk things over with them, encourage them and help them out they are much more likely to succeed.

    • Electro-Kevin
      Posted January 9, 2013 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

      Rebecca – My own experience is that the unemployed do not engage in community issues as much as those with jobs.

      It seems that they withdraw from everything – not just work.

      • Posted January 9, 2013 at 7:56 pm | Permalink

        I agree.

        So what I have in mind is that there will be someone in their community who goes round to see them to chat to them about what they could do to directly help others and also what they might like from direct contact with neighbours. Then they invited to do things which will make a positive impact on other local people or local projects or themselves by the person they met.

        Too many people in this situation are lost from society. Nobody knows who they are are where they live.

  26. Tad Davison
    Posted January 8, 2013 at 1:26 pm | Permalink

    Below is a comment I made to Sky News about a report they carried. Let’s hope they use it. Copies have also been sent to every MP on my contacts list, together with other interested parties.

    ‘The Labour councillor from Rochdale who Sky News interviewed in their report, is a joke! He spouts the same old Labour nonsense in their excuse for an unemployment and benefits policy. He says there are no jobs for these people. Strange how Poles and other Eastern Europeans with a proper work ethic seem to find them!

    And come January 2014, millions of Romanians will also have right of residency in the UK, and an automatic entitlement to the benefits everyone else pays for.

    Thanks to Labour’s ‘open doors’ policy (acceded to by the Lib Dems), this country is becoming a dumping ground, and yet more people will struggle to find work!

    Labour still isn’t working!’

    I will just add, we can’t go on like this. Something has to change, and it will take courage and dynamism, as well as a concerted effort to educate the public who are it seems, willing to consider Labour as a credible alternative.

    Tad Davison

    Cambridge

    • uanime5
      Posted January 8, 2013 at 8:40 pm | Permalink

      The Poles and other Eastern Europeans can get these jobs because they have the skills needed and will work for much less than a UK worker. Funny how most right wing nuts ignore this.

      • Edward
        Posted January 9, 2013 at 4:33 pm | Permalink

        Uni,
        Later in this thread you’ve had a go at me, for saying the increased competition from millions of new arrivals into the labour market has made the chances for existing unemployed getting off benefits more difficult, calling it lies and warped thinking etc etc and yet in your post above you say how Poles and East Europeans are competing and winning in the UK job market.
        Hilarious!

  27. Alte Fritz
    Posted January 8, 2013 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

    I agree in part. The whole scheme of benefits work in favour of those who know how to work the system. A cap on benefits will leave such people much worse off. People who fall into sudden need of benefit assistance will suffer because they are not street wise in that sense and for such people, benefits are anything but generous.

    A serious omission from the 80’s and carried over now has been a reform of a system which simply fails to make the workshy work. Those are not popular sentiments with the chattering classes, but very prevalent amongst those who work for a living, irrespective of party allegiance. Anyone who fails to acknowledge that dependency is now a lifestyle choice is simply in denial or failing to tell the truth.

    • Alte Fritz
      Posted January 8, 2013 at 1:33 pm | Permalink

      Should have said in 3rd sentence “a cap will NOT leave such people….

    • uanime5
      Posted January 8, 2013 at 8:49 pm | Permalink

      How exactly are you going to make the “workshy” work? Forced labour?

      It seems that those who believe that “everyone can get a job if they try hard enough” are the ones in denial. Hint: there’s 2.51 million people unemployed and only 450,000 jobs so over 2 million people are going to be on benefits no matter what happens.

  28. Narrow Shoulders
    Posted January 8, 2013 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

    If pensions are not being touched then the benefits bill is going to keep increasing. I accept the political and moral case for the lock on pensions but it is pensions which contribute the greatest amount to the benefit bill.

    If politics is the art of the possible where to cut?

    Tax Credits are a form of employer subsidy. Increase Employers’ NI on the low paid to pay for it. Companies need to pay employees in this country and can not avoid the tax. If they genuinely leave address it when it happens.

    Tax Credits – if you have come to this country to work and take a job paying an amount that entitles you to tax credits you should not get tax credits. (The employers should still pay increased NI so you are not cheaper than other workers). Free will brings you here, there should be no subsidies (including child benefit and housing benefit) it is your choice to be here so we can assume that it is preferable to the conditions in others countries you might inhabit.

    Child benefit for those who qualify should remain universal but only be for the first two children (9 months hence so we don’t penalise those already born).

    NHS treatment should be on production of an NHS number only otherwise some form of insurance should be required, this insurance could be provided by other governments if travel insurance is not practical.

    Education. Only provided to children of immigrants who are paying taxes at the time of registration.

    Housing benefit – build more houses and keep them public with short tenancies, bring the cost of rental down (short term cost, long term savings). Housing benefit should only paid to those with 5 years’ of stamps. This eliminates schoolgirl mothers and the recently arrived.

    Withdraw from the EU and save the exorbitant fees

  29. forthurst
    Posted January 8, 2013 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

    One of the most important issues to be tackled is that of household formation which is unviable except as a permanent client of the state; there is no point in cutting back on benefits after allowing the feckless to put themselves in the position of needing benefits for life. The DM chart which showed that in the UK only 69% of children under 14 live with both parents (USA 70.7) as opposed 95% in Finland, demonstrates that governments which deliberately open their borders to all and sundry and (who allow lack of commitment to families by one or other parent etc )http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2254450/Demise-nuclear-family-British-children-likely-live-parents-major-Western-nation.html

    • uanime5
      Posted January 8, 2013 at 8:50 pm | Permalink

      It’s because people who are unmarried get more benefits than those who are married that we have this problem. Offer higher benefits to married couples and watch the number of single mothers dramatically decline.

  30. forthurst
    Posted January 8, 2013 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

    We need to tackle the Asylum problem. It is utterly absurd that the government accepts that people who have crossed continents can be accepted as asylum seekers where the benefits just happen to be optimal for them. Nor is it reasonable to afford sanctuary to people except on the basis that they will be returning, so their accomodation and services should be determined on that basis.

  31. P O Pensioner
    Posted January 8, 2013 at 2:11 pm | Permalink

    I see that Nigel Farage is saying that UKIP would be prepared to enter into a coalition with Labour if Labour offer an EU Referendum. Farage seems to think recent electoral support (coming largely from EU hating ex Tory voters) gives him a good chance that UKIP will overtake the LibDems to become the third biggest party after the next GE. Now everyone can see very clearly that a vote for UKIP is a vote for Labour.

    • Jon Burgess
      Posted January 8, 2013 at 10:39 pm | Permalink

      A vote for UKIP is a vote for UKIP and nothing more.
      A vote for Lib, Lab or Con gets you the same thing – more debt, more EU, more failing schools, more crime, more tax, less work etc.
      Do you honestly think the unconservatives have a hope in hell of getting a majority in 2015, when they fluffed it last time against one of the worst Prime Ministers this century?

  32. peter davies
    Posted January 8, 2013 at 2:12 pm | Permalink

    Sounds sensible enough. I wonder if I tipped up in France or Germany tomorrow, said I have no house or money or job and wish to be given all these if their welfare systems would oblige.

    If the answer is no and I suspect it is given the amount of people that flow through those countries to the likes of Calais then the UK Govt should be within its right to put a blanket ban on any sort of benefits for new arrivals, EU or not. If they claim asylum – send them back to the last safe EU country they came from.

    There is only one pot of money which must be used to look after those that need it here first, there is enough of them.

    A bit of common sense thinking would go a long way with this govt – before the hapless Milliband comes in and sends us all over the edge a couple of years from now.

  33. Gwen
    Posted January 8, 2013 at 2:25 pm | Permalink

    The sooner the welfare system is tightened up, the better; I suspect when there is less entitlement to benefits for the incoming migrants, the tide will turn and hopefully they will return to their origins, meaning less people wanting to arrive here. Mostly, the indigenous people of the UK have ‘nice’ written on their foreheads which is why all and sundry want to arrive here in the UK. Certainly Cameron does and it’s time to get tough and become hardliners!

  34. Bert Young
    Posted January 8, 2013 at 2:27 pm | Permalink

    Your blog did not arrive until after 2 pm today – almost too late for any comment . I support your views – particularly those concerning recent arrivals receiving benefits .

  35. Richard Hobbs
    Posted January 8, 2013 at 2:46 pm | Permalink

    I tend to agree with your way of thinking and certainly would if I lived in UK. As it is, my wife and I live in Canada having come out here to look after my father in law (a WWII hero by the way) and, like him, are now trapped in the frozen UK State Pensions scenario. My wife hasnt had a pensions increase for 10 years and I havent for 5 years – despite having paid our NI contributions. I guess if we were foreigners having come to Britain the auithorities would be falling over themselves to give us all sorts of benefits!

    • backofanenvelope
      Posted January 9, 2013 at 7:50 am | Permalink

      As Mr Redwood has often explained; your pension, like mine, is paid out of current taxation. You don’t contribute to that income, I do. Therefore my pension is uprated and yours isn’t.

      • Richard Hobbs
        Posted January 10, 2013 at 12:19 am | Permalink

        That’s nice isnt it, especially as I have already paid for it both whilst working in UK and then by paying the last contributions whilst living in Canada. Also, what about those pensioners who live in non commonwealth countries such as USA (and many others). They get uprating whilst I dont. Perhaps we should all be treated the same – that would cause a stink!
        The government will tell you that countries such as Canada, Australia & New Zealand havent entered into reciprical agreements with UK but when they indicate a willingness to do so the UK wont play ball.

  36. marg brandreth-jones
    Posted January 8, 2013 at 3:00 pm | Permalink

    I am not convinced that people remain on benefits because it is more profitable than working.In comparison to starting work and working ones way into a more lucrative position and staying at subsistence level the former is more desirable.
    In some countries immigrants are not allowed into that country ,either male or female unless they are arriving to employment or are highly employable. Our controls are too sloppy. We might want 4 or 5 husbands or wives to bring to the UK , but here we are only allowed one and quick divorce doesn’t lead (through the back door) to dual citizenship.

  37. Denis Cooper
    Posted January 8, 2013 at 3:19 pm | Permalink

    Off-topic, JR, but topical, and in the hope that I can avoid doing my own time-consuming and possibly fruitless research, I wonder whether you already know or can very easily discover the answers to a few questions.

    Yesterday the Commons had a debate about a proposed EU Directive to impose gender quotas on company boards, absolutely typical of the inability of the eurocrats to mind their own business and stop poking their noses into anything and everything.

    Starting at Column 52 here:

    http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201213/cmhansrd/cm130107/debtext/130107-0002.htm

    The upshot being that the Clerk of the House was instructed to send the EU a “reasoned opinion” objecting to the proposal because it breached the EU’s own principle of “subsidiarity”.

    Which may seem to be just the fancy term for the general idea that the eurocrats should mind their own business and stop poking their noses into anything and everything, but in fact expresses the more sinister concept that national governments and parliaments are no more than “subsidiaries” of the EU.

    As also shown by the fact that even the EU’s “European Economic and Social Committee” have been asked for their “opinion” on this proposal, and who the hell are they?

    http://eur-lex.europa.eu/smartapi/cgi/sga_doc?smartapi!celexplus!prod!CELEXnumdoc&lg=en&numdoc=52012PC0614

    “Proposal for a

    DIRECTIVE OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL

    on improving the gender balance among non-executive directors of companies listed on stock exchanges and related measures

    (Text with EEA relevance)

    THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND THE COUNCIL OF THE EUROPEAN UNION,

    Having regard to the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, and in particular Articles 157(3) thereof,

    Having regard to the proposal from the European Commission,

    After transmission of the draft legislative act to the national Parliaments,

    Having regard to the opinion of the European Economic and Social Committee,[20]

    Acting in accordance with the ordinary legislative procedure,

    Whereas … ”

    Anyway, my questions are:

    1. Is this the first time that the House of Commons has humbly submitted a “reasoned opinion” objecting to a proposed EU law?

    2. Will the Lords be asked whether they would like to humbly submit their own “reasoned opinion”?

    3. Has it ever happened before that enough of the national parliaments have humbly submitted “reasoned opinions” that the Commission has been required to reconsider its proposal, before pressing ahead with it after making a few minor or purely cosmetic changes?

    Reply: Too busy to answer today I am afraid.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted January 8, 2013 at 7:14 pm | Permalink

      Any time soon will be fine.

    • APL
      Posted January 11, 2013 at 10:06 am | Permalink

      “House of Commons has humbly submitted a “reasoned opinion” objecting to a proposed EU law?”

      Why use this insulting phrasing? When in dialogue with the Crown maybe, but the EU, humbly – really wtf is that?

      Parliament should get off its belly!

  38. Seldom Seen
    Posted January 8, 2013 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

    In the Guardian, a teenage scribbler mourns the passing of the welfare state. He harks back to the dictum that those that ‘paid into’ the system would benefit from it when times were hard; a reasonable enough assumption. These days however, it seems that most claimants have never ‘paid in’, simply ‘taken out’. And they have gone on taking. How can these people possibly deserve such welfare payments, if they have never paid into the system? For those of us crippled by tax demands here, there and everywhere – and who have never claimed a benefit of any kind, ever – such state munificence is hard to stomach. What does it take for successive governments to see sense?

  39. Paul
    Posted January 8, 2013 at 4:17 pm | Permalink

    It’s good to see the government doing something which actually makes sense and has most voters onside. Tackling benefits and making sure they go to the deserving and most needy is long overdue. This is probably the only area where you could say the government is doing the right thing.

    I’m not sure where I read this but what about the idea of making sure people who claim benefits spend them on the right things (clothes, food etc.) and not on alcohol, smoking or gambling. This would be done by way of a top-up benefits card or something similar. This surely would be a wise step to take and is a sensible measure to ensure those on benefits, particularly their dependents, enjoy a better standard of living and increase their prospects. Given your comments recently on bookmakers, John, maybe this measure would force some of these ghastly and depressing places to close down.

    • uanime5
      Posted January 8, 2013 at 8:57 pm | Permalink

      How exactly is the Government’s plan to cut benefits to 7 million household where people work “making sure they go to the deserving”?

      They tried food stamps in the USA and they failed because people sold them in exchange for real money. Other ways to punish people for being unemployed are equally likely to fail.

      • APL
        Posted January 13, 2013 at 10:32 am | Permalink

        uanime5: “They tried food stamps in the USA and they failed because people sold them in exchange for real money.”

        Which isn’t of course a failure of the food stamps programme.

        It is a triumph of the market economy.

        Those in the programme got their food and sold their surplus stamps for money so that they could purchase other items that were not available in the food stamp programme.

    • ChrisXP
      Posted January 9, 2013 at 8:19 am | Permalink

      This is already being done in Australia. However, the card has stigmatised people, who are embarrassed to use it in a store because it immediately identifies them as a benefits recipient.
      While this might seem ideal for genuine cases of wastefulness, it doesn’t go down well with the sick or disabled.

      • Bazman
        Posted January 9, 2013 at 3:18 pm | Permalink

        I’d quite happily buy and use them or failing that the products they are used to obtain. Can’t prosecute everyone huh?

  40. Antony Blakey
    Posted January 8, 2013 at 4:17 pm | Permalink

    Welfare reform is the tip of the tax iceberg which is far worse than it appears. There are 24 million workers in the private sector who pay ALL the non-corporate tax. Many of this group pay very little tax so there are actually around 15 million people paying the majority of the £550 billion raised. Public sector workers do not pay tax but merely recirculate tax as their salaries and pensions came from local or national tax takes. What is surprising is that none of the 15 million Government benefactors have said we have had enough of watching the public sector spend badly and waste continuously (everything from the rail franchise disaster to billions wasted on quangos, welfare or IT). There are state employees who actually deliver a service but maybe they should distance themselves from the estimated 1.2 million managers, administrators, pseudo-enforcers, wardens and hangers-on who deliver nothing. Remember these people cannot be sacked however useless they are, they earn more than the people who pay them and have higher pensions.Perhaps no-one wants to address this reality in case the 15 million stop paying however much HMRC bullies them!

    • uanime5
      Posted January 8, 2013 at 9:03 pm | Permalink

      So what’s your solution? Nationalise everything even though it has resulted in everything becoming more expensive?

      Fire everyone in the state sector and outsource everything? Oh wait that won’t reduce the cost to the taxpayer because everything will still be paid for by taxes.

      Once again your state sector hating ideology just shows how little you understand about the economy.

  41. Bazman
    Posted January 8, 2013 at 5:04 pm | Permalink

    This idea of stopping benefits to Eu citizens on arrival is not real. Non EU citizens are already not entitled to anything and as the Newspapers point out we overrun by non EU nationals living in mansions across London. Except we are not. So how is stopping EU citizens from overrunning us? I have a non EU wife and how much was she entitled to on arrival? Nothing and not allowed to work either. Full price college courses too as one example. What right wingers is talking about is political refugees. Another story by far.
    What everyone needs to think is why East Europeans come here and find work and why they are able to overstep and undercut the British workforce? I have pointed out why many times why and the right wing fantasist still come out with the same nonsense and they have the cheek to blame the BBC for propaganda. Is it because you are mentally incapable or is it just plain bigotry and a love for scapegoats in stereotypical lazy low class Britons that you choose to ignore the facts? Ram it.

    • Edward
      Posted January 8, 2013 at 7:17 pm | Permalink

      Its simple Baz, half a million new arrivals each year since 1997 have added to the available supply of labour, just at the precise time when demand for labour was static.
      This has led to more unemployment in certain areas and a steady fall in labour costs especially at the lower end of the labour market.
      I dont know why you feel it is a wicked capitalist or a right wing plot…It was Labour what done it!

      • uanime5
        Posted January 9, 2013 at 4:42 pm | Permalink

        You seem to have ignored that huge numbers of immigrants left the UK every year since 1997, so the net immigration was much lower than you claim.

        Also all those right wing businesses and political parties didn’t object to this. I wonder why.

    • uanime5
      Posted January 8, 2013 at 8:59 pm | Permalink

      The right wing nuts love this lie because they can condemn both the poor and the EU. That’s why they ignore all the facts that disagree with their warped ideology.

      • Bazman
        Posted January 9, 2013 at 3:21 pm | Permalink

        Warped ideology is exactly what it is point out a few truths and inconvenient facts and they go silent as long as the ideas do not effect them, but cry the loudest when they do. Have nothing and be happy with it, but not for me.

      • Edward
        Posted January 9, 2013 at 4:10 pm | Permalink

        Uanime5
        Abuse from ppeople like you is the usual response when you have no decent argument to offer, so Im not surprised at your mini rant.
        Do you really believe that had Blair and Brown capped immigration to less than say 100,000 per year, that unemployment levels would be where they are now and that the chances of people tobe able to get off benefits by finding a job, have not been made more difficult by the increased competition in the UK labour market?
        And you accuse others of warped ideas and being nuts and being a liar…hilarious.

        • uanime5
          Posted January 9, 2013 at 4:39 pm | Permalink

          Given that most of the immigrants that came during the Blair and Brown years have already left because the devaluation of the pound has made it less worthwhile to work in the UK I’d have to say the any cap wouldn’t have made the UK any worse off. You xenophobes always seem to forget that when the going gets tough the economic migrants leave for more lucrative countries.

          You’ve also forgotten that unemployment levels didn’t rise significantly until after the 2008 financial crash and rose sharply after the coalition came into power and started cutting the public sector (which wasn’t targeted by immigrants).

          So unemployment would be lower if the coalition didn’t keep cutting public sector jobs as a time when the private sector is fluctuating between stagnation and job cuts.

          • Edward
            Posted January 10, 2013 at 9:57 am | Permalink

            I’ve read some desperate arguments from you on this site,Uni, but none as poor as this post.
            Population since 1997 up by millions.
            The largest levels of unskilled immigration into the UK ever and you still say this has had no detremental effect on the chances for those already out of work finding a well paid job.
            Loony left delusion

    • Winston Smith
      Posted January 9, 2013 at 9:50 am | Permalink

      Did you bring your wife here or was she already here when you met her? Either way, your statement is untrue.

      • Bazman
        Posted January 9, 2013 at 3:28 pm | Permalink

        Maybe you could tell me what benefits, employment rights, including the right to work and services are avalible to non EU nationals legally on a tourist visa other than medical help? If some are, especially benefits and the right to work legally, then I must have slipped up!

        • APL
          Posted January 9, 2013 at 11:27 pm | Permalink

          Bazman: “non EU nationals legally on a tourist visa other than medical help?”

          Well, there you go! Tourist visa, I don’t go on holiday to Spain and ask the Spanish State to pay my expenses. FFS that must be common sense even to a Lefty?

          Folk on a tourist visa ought to have international medical insurance anyway to.

          • Bazman
            Posted January 10, 2013 at 10:54 am | Permalink

            Agreements on medical cost are reciprocated with most countries. You should also have the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) and some insurance would be advisable. Are you proposing that foreign citizens are entitled to no medical cover by the state, having their wallets checked first instead of their pulse? This is modern Europe.

          • APL
            Posted January 10, 2013 at 9:19 pm | Permalink

            Bazman: “Are you proposing that foreign citizens are entitled to no medical cover by the state, ”

            The implication of my post was that Tourists ought to make provision for their own potential medical costs when in foreign parts through the offices of an insurance company.

            Should a tourist require medical treatment in this country, the cost to the state could be recouped (since the tourist would be unlikely to have paid sufficient tax to cover the cost of any but the most minor treatment ) from the insurance company.

    • Antony Blakey
      Posted January 9, 2013 at 10:53 am | Permalink

      Bazman is right about the need to avoid being sidetracked into racist commentary about immigration. The problems we have in the UK are caused by the last Government’s program to create a dependency state that must always return a Labour Government and the excessive cost and inefficiencies of that state. For example we have 88,000 front-line soldiers and the same number of incompetent MOD bureaucrats. The NHS has over 1 million employees but only 600,000 of them are involved in any kind of patient care. There are 80,000 tax employees because HMRC refuses to simplify the tax system for fear of exposing how much is extracted and the mass of redundancies that would result from a flat tax system. The list is endless and at some point those few who overpay for the army of so called public servants need to stand back and say why? I believe the truth about tax is covered up for fear of a revolution. However a revolution is the only solution and that will never happen where a citizenry is controlled by bureaucratic zealots armed with the powers of a surveillance state.

      • uanime5
        Posted January 9, 2013 at 4:44 pm | Permalink

        Unless the private sector is willing to create so many jobs with good salaries that the majority of people will move from the public sector to the private sector a revolution will never occur.

      • Edward
        Posted January 9, 2013 at 5:52 pm | Permalink

        Ah I was wondering when someone would shout the “R” word.
        Just dont speak about immigration.
        Its off limits.

  42. John Orchard
    Posted January 8, 2013 at 5:34 pm | Permalink

    If people are out of work owing to the cut backs then it is not their fault they are on benefits. We all know the problem has been caused by useless Governments, Bankers and what was the FSA and Bank of England doing to earn their bloated wages when all this was happening?.

    If people are what is termed scroungers then hit them hard but theer are a lot of people who have lost their jobs owing to the last Government increasing jemployment in Local Government. It is not these peoples fault that they applied for a job and got it, they would be more concerned about earning a living.

  43. Posted January 8, 2013 at 6:14 pm | Permalink

    The government and yourself claim that disability benefits will not be subject to this cap. This is misleading and untrue.
    ESA is paid to disabled people too sick to work and is affected.
    Due to the way this bill is constructed those who are considered currently unfit to work but may one day recover will be fully hit by the cap and subject to the 1% rise.
    Those in the support group who are considered too sick to ever recover and work again are still affected although to a lesser extent. Their benefit will be restricted to a 1.4% rise, still well below inflation.
    Such a bill should not go through under false pretenses and it is a disgrace that our elected politicians are claiming that disabled people are being protected.

    • JimF
      Posted January 8, 2013 at 9:02 pm | Permalink

      Your problem is that the government is allowing money to be printed to support your clients. That in itself is a root cause of the inflation against which you are trying to protect your clients. Sadly nobody- not even the disabled-can have their cake and eat it.

    • uanime5
      Posted January 8, 2013 at 9:05 pm | Permalink

      Not to mention all the disabled people who ATOS has taken off disability benefit and put onto job seeker allowance.

      The Conservatives attack on the poor and disabled is something John refuses to admit it.

    • Bazman
      Posted January 9, 2013 at 11:39 am | Permalink

      Disability benefit is also paid to those in full time work to compensate for the inconvenience of their disability such as extra travel expenses. It is not means tested how long before this is stopped?

  44. uanime5
    Posted January 8, 2013 at 6:57 pm | Permalink

    The idea is to limit the rise in benefits to make it more worthwhile to work, at a time when pay rises are low or non existent.

    Given that 7 million households where someone works receive some form of benefits how will cutting these benefits make work pay? This real term cut will make working even less worthwhile.

    The Coalition government counters by saying that the lower paid will benefit from the more substantial increases in tax thresholds, reducing or removing their income tax liability.

    What about the millions of people who work part time and earn less than the tax threshold? They’ll suffer a loss of benefits but won’t gain anything from the tax threshold increasing.

    Face it this cut is nothing but a way to punish the poor for not voting for the Conservatives, while those who tend to vote Conservative (pensioners and the wealthy) aren’t asked to make any sacrifices.

  45. Electro-Kevin
    Posted January 8, 2013 at 7:05 pm | Permalink

    A lot of people are trapped in benefits because it offers them security.

    They feel there is serious risk of ending up homeless by taking a job and then losing it. Then there are the teenage mums who get pregnant by ‘unknown’ fathers deliberately – it’s a well known scam and many politicians disbelieve that girls would choose to do this.

  46. Edward
    Posted January 8, 2013 at 7:09 pm | Permalink

    In all the debate today about the relative percentage increases between those on benefits and those in work paying tax and NI, it has been forgotten that many employees and owners in small private companies have had to accept the need for sizeable reductions in wages or have had a wage freeze now for several years.
    Many others who work for SME’s have had no chance of promotion nor end of year bonuses nor opportunities for overtime.
    Many I know, are now working longer hours for the same or less take home pay, especially after increases in taxes are included.
    They do this to try to secure a long term future for their jobs and their businesses.
    It can be tough out here in the very competitive world of small business land and for those who are self-employed.

    • uanime5
      Posted January 9, 2013 at 4:46 pm | Permalink

      Given that those on low salaries can claim more in benefits if their income decrease to reduce the hardship they face you have to wonder just how much the people in SMEs are getting paid.

      • Edward
        Posted January 10, 2013 at 10:10 am | Permalink

        In the world of self employment and in small companies you earn what is possible from your efforts and the money your customers are prepared to give you.
        Different to public sector where you set a salary and dip onto the tax pool for it
        Try running your own small business Uni, having read your posts I would expect you to fail inside 18 months

  47. Monty
    Posted January 8, 2013 at 8:14 pm | Permalink

    John Orchard
    Posted January 8, 2013 at 5:34 pm | Permalink
    If people are out of work owing to the cut backs then it is not their fault they are on benefits. We all know the problem has been caused by useless Governments, Bankers and what was the FSA and Bank of England doing to earn their bloated wages when all this was happening?.
    —————–

    The problem is not with the people who have lost their jobs recently.
    The problem is the people who are long term unemployed, who were unemployed during the good times, while Gordon Brown was busily hiking up the national debt.
    Now, we haven’t got the money to provide a decent safety net for the genuine job-seekers, and we are sinking deeper into debt with every passing day.

    I agree with John that some way of barring access to welfare payments of new arrivals is needed. That has to apply to all welfare payments, nothing from the public purse. But it needs to go further than that, and keep them out altogether. We can’t afford the costs of their education and healthcare, and all the available jobs should be filled by our own unemployed people. Whatever our own folk make in wages will at least be spent in our economy, not transferred abroad. We have got to get our youngsters into work, because we’ve already spent their tax and NI on households where no-one in the past three generations has ever had a job.
    Most importantly, we should try to provide the upcoming generation with a system where no-one can use welfare as a way of life.

    • uanime5
      Posted January 9, 2013 at 4:47 pm | Permalink

      Unless you can magically create jobs your plan for the upcoming generation won’t work.

  48. Barbara
    Posted January 8, 2013 at 8:22 pm | Permalink

    I do believe we shouldn’t pay immigrants benefits here at all, yet, they keep arriving and taking, and all governments refuse to act. The EU, will of course say we must treat them equally, if that’s so, without paying into the pot, send them to the EU. I’m fed up to the teeth of others having our money. Like the 11 billion in foreign aid, which is a disgrace as cuts here take place on such a level. We are not the world’s benefactors. When will MPs ge the message.
    Yes, the unemployed cannot expect a life of ease not working, if there are jobs they should be taken, but those jobs should pay a living wage with enough hours to sustain a family. The problem is many jobs now are part time and don’t pay enough to keep a family; that is why they rely on credits to survive. I know full well a Labour idea, but it does have some merit in allowing some work and the caperblity to help families. The hard core unemployed, who have never worked, and don’t intend to should in effect be the ones who don’t benefit from state help by rises each year. Those who have worked have NI stamps on their card to prove it are the ones who deserve help in hard times. However, the jobs do have to be there to take up, and we haven’t any. Why then are we allowing more immigrants into the country to add to the problem? We need a blanket ban and close the doors so we can get a grip on the problem. When will MPs get the message, we have, the public, why is it so hard for them to see and act.
    We are seeing things getting worse, and while this government makes the cuts it still gives our money away in the billions, so for me their arguement is flawed. There are thousands who think like me, and that means they will not vote for a government who acts in this way, while they suffer cuts, can you blame them?

  49. Bazman
    Posted January 8, 2013 at 8:59 pm | Permalink

    No comments about Gérard Depardieu’s deluded move to Russia to enjoy Russia’s 13% flat tax instead of the French 75% rate? Russia can’t wait to have all Britain’s rich. Why not move there to enjoy all it’s benefits if you are wealthy?

    • backofanenvelope
      Posted January 9, 2013 at 3:56 pm | Permalink

      Is the Frenchman moving to Russia? I think not – he is not stupid. He is going to live in Belgium about 200 yards from France. That way he will have his cake and eat it.

  50. John Wrexham
    Posted January 8, 2013 at 10:36 pm | Permalink

    Conservatives seem to have forgotten that they failed to win a majority in 2010. The party offered a Conservative manifesto and it didn’t win them enough votes to gain power alone. That means compromise -which is what most of us have to accept all the time. Anyone who thinks being more right-wing will somehow lead to the party gaining a majority are deluding themselves. Just because lots of people want a referendum on the EU doesn’t mean they want a more right-wing government; they just want more say in how they are governed.

  51. Andy
    Posted January 8, 2013 at 10:55 pm | Permalink

    Cameron and Clegg will never strive to remove eligibility from recent arrivals in the UK as that would go against their ideology of greater integration with the EU

  52. EU_Bill
    Posted January 9, 2013 at 4:56 am | Permalink

    Every benefit should be for the benefit of the needy. Like the idea of benefit credit cards, limiting it use in UK soil, would really help to curtail the benefit spending and cheats. It should limit the cash withdrawls to 25% of the total benefit. Any one who is entitled to benefit can be tracked by the system, and grant them the all elements of benefit they are entitle to, and monitor how it is spent. Child benefit should target the every needy child. EU can take care of its EURO currency zone citizen this way too. Anyone wanting to use the cards outside their respective zones need to get authorisation from respective authority. Then it will not be our problem.
    On the Job front you only have to look around to see how much of it is taken by the new arrivals. It is really hurting to see, while our talented graduate chasing the job tails, most jobs goes to non UK nationals. These deplete our economy, as the salaries are sent home, and not ploughed back in to our economy.

  53. GaryEssex
    Posted January 9, 2013 at 5:05 am | Permalink

    I think that a 1% increase is still too much and I believe that this was a sop to the LibDems which the Chancellor probably (and rightly) wanted a freeze.
    However and as someone who supports “tough” choices in terms of public spending, I’m not sure how you can support a triple lock for pension payments.
    Surely, and like the bloated and wasted foreign aid budget, pensions and pensioner benefits should not be protected from cuts in public spending aimed at eliminating the deficit – still running, let’s remember, at around £120-130 bn a year. In fact, the deficit could be higher this financial year than last!

    • uanime5
      Posted January 9, 2013 at 4:49 pm | Permalink

      A 1% increase is a 2% cut in real terms. How much more do you want benefits to be reduced by?

  54. Robert Taggart
    Posted January 9, 2013 at 11:00 am | Permalink

    This scrounger would settle for a mere 1% rise pa – so long as the benefits keep coming !

    But, Pensioners – they have been pampered for too long – time to abolish their Winter Fuel Allowance, Free Television Licence, Free Bus / Local Travel Passes.
    They have seen the threshold for Income Tax rise (eventually up to £10K) and a Triple Lock introduced for the annual up-rating (2.5% minimum).
    They may well have paid for the latter, but, certainly not the former.

  55. Bazman
    Posted January 9, 2013 at 3:06 pm | Permalink

    Many of the above posts clearly show the mentality and thought process of the Daily Mail Turnip Taliban laughing as the neighbors crop fail. This is where the jealousy lies and with the rich being envious of the very rich and somehow thinking they are hard done by. However they are in for some political revelations now, and are going to see that their disjointed political thinking is going to cost them money. They voted for a Tory government that was hopefully going to cut only services that they did not use and benefits that did not apply to them. We have now seen that this is not true and many are going to lose money. Even ones earning up to 60k. The next in the firing line is the pensioners and the disabled having their benefits cut in order to give further tax cuts to the rich should another Tory government be elected with a disassembly of the profitable parts of of the NHS and more fees in general. Lets see how Conservative they are after that one. If it happens.

    • Edward
      Posted January 9, 2013 at 4:22 pm | Permalink

      Calm Baz, very soon Balls and Miliband will ride to our rescue and all will be well in the world for you again.
      They will invest in the economy and invest in jobs and invest in education and the NHS and….well everything, and all with lots more borrowed money.

      Well paid full time permanent jobs will return, unemployment levels will fall, taxes for all will be reduced (except the wicked rich of course), the shops will overflow with UK made goods and even tractor production and grain harvests will rise.
      The NHS will be better. Education will be world class.

      They have all the answers, just like you and uni do!

      • Bazman
        Posted January 10, 2013 at 11:05 am | Permalink

        This is about likely as the rich and their corporations providing all the jobs with good wages to the serfs and paying taxes to fund the necessary infrastructure, but I’ll take my chances with Labour. At least the population got something out of them despite their delusions of the City really existing to help the country and not themselves they taxed them and redistributed some of the wealth that otherwise would have just vanished into the tax havens. Labour borrowed so much to bail out the banking fiasco you forget. They believed the lies and fantasy of the bankers. Anyway I got a house and some money. What did you get?

        • Edward
          Posted January 10, 2013 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

          A big house and lots of money since you ask.

  56. Bazman
    Posted January 9, 2013 at 6:38 pm | Permalink

    Interesting to blame European immigrants into Britain. How do other European countries limit them without even a physical barrier like the channel. Must be a few in a wealthy country like Germany with a border to Poland? Oh Yes! There is! Ram it.

  57. Antony Blakey
    Posted January 10, 2013 at 9:28 am | Permalink

    A small number of people who actually pay all the costs of Government are seeing their pitiful returns (child benefit, future pension tax relief) being cut.
    The tax system (which needs 1400 pages of close type to explain it) is deliberately complex so that no one sees what is actually paid. Carefully worded descriptions of how the money is spent are created by public employees to disguise the waste and misspending.
    Private individuals and small British companies are constantly bullied by HMRC into paying more and more tax to support the bloated state. International companies and the rich pay whatever they negotiate with HMRC which cannot intimidate the powerful members of UK society.
    15 million private sector workers pay £500 billion a year in direct and indirect taxes. 9 million on low wages pay around £60 billion in tax. Public sector workers pay zero in tax. Instead they get paid from local and national taxes taken from private sector workers and then pay some of that tax based income back to HMRC (thus ensuring more bureaucrats are employed).
    So what does tax get spent on.
    Put simply one third goes on welfare, one third on salaries and pensions for public employees and one third provides tangible services (including EU costs and foreign aid).

    Education

    570,000 teachers, professors and lecturers preside over the worst education our children have ever had.
    BUT there are 450.000 managers and administrators related to education as well. As there are headmasters in every school it is difficult to see what these people do other than create work for themselves and build their empires.

    NHS
    There are 1.1 million employed in the NHS but even the most optimistic assessment can only find 600,000 directly related to healthcare (doctors, nurses, other medical professionals, care assistants, porters etc). If the other 500,000 were removed immediately would hospitals still perform operations? Could all the extra funds be used to provide medicine, care and more medical staff?
    Police
    Frontline police only spend 1 hour in every 5 on preventing and solving crime. The rest of the time is spent on paperwork. Hence the calculation that it costs £800,000 to have a full time policeman working in the community. The “plastic” community support police and army of administrators means that only 10% of the police budget is used to put policemen out in the community where they are wanted.
    Armed Forces
    There are a total of 130,000 frontline servicemen and 90,000 civil servants. The MOD has consistently failed to pay the right prices for the correct equipment but it is the front line servicemen who are cut.
    Fire Brigade
    The firemen are underpaid and risk their lives. There is a new fire control network created by the fire service administrators that cannot be used and cost millions to build. There are no talks about cutting the fire service bureaucrats who created the national control centre fiasco, but there are talks about cutting front line firemen.
    Council Tax
    25% of everything collected goes to pay the pensions of the council employees (with the largest percentage going to the managers and senior bureaucrats).
    55% provides frontline services such as refuse collection and social services.
    20% pays for bureaucrats and managers who provide no direct or useful services.

  • About John Redwood

    John Redwood has been the Member of Parliament for Wokingham since 1987. First attending Kent College, Canterbury, he graduated from Magdalen College, and has a DPhil from All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has been a director of NM Rothschild merchant bank and chairman of a quoted industrial PLC.
    Published and promoted by Thomas Puddy for John Redwood, both of 30 Rose Street Wokingham RG40 1XU
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