Talk to people at work or on the streets of the UK and you will find divided opinion on David Cameron's planned welfare reform. The majority of working people it seems believe that those on welfare are living the high life. In truth few if any are.
Mainstream media will always latch on to any family for instance that has a huge rent and massive family. Such a set of people will never be able to earn more than they receive in benefits unless they are extra special people. These cases however are few and far between. Highlighting the rarities belittles those who struggle to survive.
Living on benefit in the UK is not the soft option as it is often claimed. Those who claim that it is usually live on far more money. Welfare reform will hit the vulnerable, those with disabilities and the elderly in the UK. These are a soft options for the government to pick on.
So often when Government reform is underway someone somewhere along the line will be making money. Enter the private firms awarded multimillion-pound contracts to run the UK Work Programme. This program has already been shamed and hit by corruption yet the Coalition see the Work for Welfare program as a way forward.
Yesterday, June 30, 2012, the Guardian reported,
"Firms running the Work Programme have advised that there should be many more cases where claimants have their benefits stripped as punishment for failing to seek work. As part of its crackdown on welfare dependency, David Cameron's government has more than tripled the number of punishments enforced against failing jobseekers across all its schemes. The number of cases has risen from 139,000 benefit cuts under Labour in 2009 to more than 500,000 in 2011. Yet documents obtained by the research group Corporate Watch reveal how private firms on payment-by-result contracts have suggested that a much greater number of punishments should have been meted out to people on the Work Programme, a key part of the coalition's drive to "get Britain working".
In the first eight months of the government's flagship employment scheme, jobcentres agreed to cut benefits in about 40,000 cases. But figures contained in an internal Department for Work and Pensions analysis reveal private firms running the programs actually referred almost three times as many (110,000) for sanctions. And critics say jobcentres are gradually upping the number of those denied benefits."
You have to wonder how some people sleep at night. A welfare culture is wrong but what of those making themselves a fortune at the expense of the disadvantaged in the UK?
The UK Coalition is actively reducing jobs in the UK and ensuring that higher education is only available to a privileged few. It is then concentrating on reducing benefits to the unemployed. Those without work will face slave, free labour or no income. Not much of a choice, is it? Will this save the UK money? No of course not. Those companies operating the Work Programs will cost what is saved, and some. Will it help those people running these firms get rich? Yes of course it will. Cheap labour helps many people except for the workers. After all in the end it undermines those working for a normal salary. Pay cuts and a reduction in the minimum wage will have to follow.
Working people in the UK need to dig a little deeper than simply blaming their own poor income on the fact that the UK has a welfare state. There could be a time, for example, when through ill health we all need to utilise our welfare system. Once welfare is reformed and cut to the bone trhere will be no help for anyone.
Those who have profited from the economic crisis will be able to sit back on their fortunes earned at the expense of the poor, working and under classes. As long as we bicker amongst ourselves the fat cats will win.It is time to open your eyes and your ears and think outside of the box!
Tags: UK Work Programme, UK Work Program, welfare for work, UK welfare reform, UK politics, UK coalition reform
Based in Yorkshire, in the middle of the UK, almost, this blogger offers her own unique perspective on life in GB
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