It all started with a good credible objective didn’t it – help the downtrodden poorest members of our community with financial help from the taxpayers and do away forever with the poor laws of the Tudor times. But it has all rapidly gone wrong and got out of control in the last sixty odd years, hasn’t it?
We now provide the undeserving with an un-lavish but sustainable living that they have no right to. We have developed a culture by which whole families, generation after generation, won’t work or provide for themselves – that was not what was originally planned or what was first intended was it? NO, it is a consequence though of the State controlling such matters and accepting a legal obligation enforced by the courts, to protect indefinitely all and sundry, including even the workshy and riffraff of our society. It is not simply about the criminal abuse of the system (and that in itself is endemic), but the legitimate employment of the welfare system by a large section of our society.
The rule that currently governs all welfare support is to reward the ‘most needy’ (however they got there and whereby whatever their own fault) – and certainly NOT the most deserving, eh? In the sixties those at the bottom of the pile, those that had fallen on bad times, were much too proud to claim the State benefits available – not any longer though, and the possible and easily obtained benefits has ‘grow’d like Topsy’, haven’t they? In the past fifty years our welfare bill has probably increased some sevenfold – though state pension accounts for a large part (as life expectancy has steadily increased).
When the so called Welfare State was introduced in the late 1940s it was intended to help those in a ‘temporary’ crisis – now in the 2000s it has become for some a way of life, hasn’t it? Such support comes from both central and local government – and ignoring pensions (which surely is a valid cost to us all?) it is now at a cost to the government of well over a hundred BILLION pounds.
In addition to this vast expense, it has had the effect of relieving many of our citizens of personal responsibility for their own welfare – so the government has inadvertently promoted irresponsible and immature attitudes, with the result that squalor, ignorance, and idleness are common
We can start at the bottom, with promiscuous teenage girls having a baby without a working man to support her or it. She is not criticised for her lack of consideration about having a kid, nor ostracised by her society like in the older days, but as she won’t work, the Council is then obliged to give her a free council flat and the rest of us to give her money to support them both – WHY? When she gets another child, often by a different absent father, she has to be given a house to live in – WHY? Then, often she never ever works, so she and her offspring live their sad lives on benefits at our expense, while we fully educate her children gratis and give all of them free health care for the rest of their lives – WHY? The often jobless boys and men who father these illegitimate children are allowed to simply walk away with their own state provided benefits to father even more children with other irresponsible women – WHY?
Then we have irresponsible families who secure expensive luxury properties, and frequently have numerous children, so that when they fall on hard times they can no longer afford it all – they squeal like stuck pigs if it is suggested that they downsize to normal circumstances, and not expect us others to pay them large benefits for such a lifestyle, eh?
Furthermore, we allow men and women to propagate endlessly and indefinitely, when they clearly cannot even support or provide for their existing children, so then we have to provide never-ending benefits for them all – WHY? Responsible families only have the children that they can afford, but not these others, eh. NO, the more offspring they have, the more benefits they get paid – madness?
We even pay many workers a substantial and generous top-up benefit called tax credit (in reality nothing to do with tax though), if they don’t earn enough to live on – its cost has risen to thirty billion pounds annually, and nearly five million people working part-time are getting it (often it pays more than the individuals actually earn at work – and can amount to twenty-five grand so it is definitely not an encouragement to work fulltime is it?). It has been effective in significantly reducing child poverty, but nevertheless this is basically a way of subsidising employers, who then don’t need to pay decent wages or offer substantial hours, do they? [Classification of poverty in this Country is a bit of a joke really. Is it based on whether a family have enough to eat? NO. Is it about not having enough clothes to wear? NO. Is it measured then by them not having a suitable dry warm place to live? NO. Is it about not having access to adequate health care and education? NO. Is it determined by material depravation and not having enough money to buy the likes of massive flat screen TVs and iphones? NO. The most common measure, as used in the Child Poverty Act 2010, is ‘household income below 60 percent of median income’. The median is such an income that exactly a half of households earn more than that and the other half earns less. The average UK income is these days about twenty-one thousand pounds].
Chancellor George Osborne’s plan to suddenly withdraw working tax credits (which have been frozen for three years) from a shed load of people (over three million, who on average will lose up to one and a half grand a year) as a new part of his planned twelve billion welfare cuts for austerity measures, has hit the buffers, because it has been widely seen as draconian, so got scuppered by the House of Lords (the Tories had pre-election promised not to do just that though).
All our governments have been complicit in this dreadful situation developing this far, haven’t they? The current Conservative Government is trying to address the problem now, but on an ideological basis and too urgently and aggressively, so is facing understandably stiff resistance – all political parties should though recognise that the issue needs to be addressed and a cross-party consensus is what is desperately required and not political point scoring, eh? Like drug addicts we all need to be weaned-off benefits and get back to being a society where predominately people stand on their own two feet, surely?
[Housing benefit payments cost some twenty-five billion pounds and is a major problem for our Councils. It is basically a rent subsidy (frequently paid to private landlords – so they put rents up, don’t they?), which is means tested but many pay no rent whatsoever, and an increasing number of working people get some as well – the only answer is to build a lot more houses, isn’t it?].