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Why Those On Benefit Should Fear The Benefit Cuts

Updated on July 17, 2013


The value of unemployment benefit across different countries cannot be compared simply by amount. It is calculated on its ‘replacement rate’ (the % value of that payment relative to the employee’s last gross earnings). A high replacement ratio limits
The value of unemployment benefit across different countries cannot be compared simply by amount. It is calculated on its ‘replacement rate’ (the % value of that payment relative to the employee’s last gross earnings). A high replacement ratio limits

The Government's Great Propaganda Trick

We are told that nearly everyone on benefit is feckless, lazy and is quite happy to go through life without the need to work.

We are led to believe that the burden of benefit payments is one of the causes of the financial crisis and if only these people went out to work the crisis would be solved.

We are told that it isn’t fair for people on benefit to receive more than those working. True, it isn’t fair, but is this true and even if it is, should the solution be to cut benefits?

The truth is that we are all being made subject of a great propaganda trick. A picture is painted that leads everyone to believe they want whatever the government seeks to impose.

The simple fact is that total benefit payments make up only a fraction of government expenditure. Benefit payments to the unemployed make up a tiny fraction of total benefit payments, around the 2-3% mark. Of this tiny fraction and even smaller fraction is taken by those working the system, who are rightly jumped on with big boots when caught, yet to read certain press reports when this happens, you would believe their actions could bring the whole country to its knees.

But look at the benefit system from another angle.

It is designed as a safety net for those who are working, so that if they become unemployed or sick and loose their job, they are not abandoned with no income, no means to buy food, no means to pay rent or mortgage. To those working, it is your safety net, an insurance policy so that you will not be left without support if and when it is needed.

As for the argument that people on benefit receive more than those working, statistics are wonderful things and can be used to tell any lie a politician wishes to tell.

Part the make up of a benefit calculation is to cover rent and council tax that, prior to recent changes, was not actually paid to the claimant. The claimant did not receive the sum of whatever their council tax might be in their benefit payment. This came in the form of a reduced council tax payment.

A similar system applied to payments for rent, but consider this.

The Conservative government under Margaret Thatcher set about transferring the rental housing system from council houses to private landlords. Subsequent Labour government continued this system. Private landlords were encouraged helping create the housing boom that is part of what led to the present financial crisis. House prices rose meaning these landlords needed to charge higher rents to pay their mortgages. The bubble bursts. Those working loose their jobs to land in the safety net of the benefit system where they are entitled to have their rent paid. The alternative would be for thousands of families to be made homeless. The problem is that this rent, paid to these private landlords, is now far higher than rents paid under the previous council house system. The cost to the benefit system is huge, though still only a fraction of total government expenditure. However, this is not the claimant’s fault.

It is quite easy, using statistics and juggling numbers to create the impression that benefit claimants are receiving a great deal, but a large portion of this is to cover rent and council tax payments and those working must also pay rent and council tax, so consider this.

The basic job seekers allowance for a single person is just £56.80 per week. In the world benefit rankings, Britain stands at 46. This is below Hungary and Poland. It is below the United States, at 31. As for tales of Romanians coming to Britain to live off our benefit system, Romania in the world’s benefit rankings stands at 18. Perhaps the unemployed in Britain should go to Romania instead.

Another trick in comparing the amount received by those on benefits and those working, is that benefit payments are maximised, including everything such as child benefit, which those working also receive. Yet the comparison is made with the wage received by an unskilled worker wage less child benefits.

In addition, the amount paid in benefits is calculated on need, which in turn is calculated according to cost of living statistics. Therefore, a family with two children requires X amount for food and basic living expenses plus whatever their rent and council tax may be and this is the amount they receive. They actually receive a percentage of this amount.

If this is what a family needs to survive then wages should rise, not benefits be cut.

Statistics show that the salaries paid to company directors have risen by as much as 49% plus paying themselves huge bonuses on top while ordinary wages have been cut. Staff are laid off and vacancies not filled helping increase unemployment. There has been a rise in no hour contracts, temporary and part time work, further helping to depress wages, not to mention the bankers who’s greed and avarice did a great deal to create the financial crisis and increase the number claiming benefit.

The simple truth is that the government is using the age old trick of creating a scapegoat on which to lay all the blame for what in actuality, is their fault. The politicians are the ones that removed banking controls. The politicians are the ones in control of the economy and they are the ones that have led the economy into its present crisis, but they will not accept the blame. Nor will they allow themselves and their highly paid cronies pay the cost. To ensure they don’t these wealthy company directors, who at the same time increase their own salaries and bonuses, hand out directorships to the politicians and so the cycle goes on.

Those in work are led to believe that it’s all the fault of those struggling to live on a pittance of benefit. Yet you may be the next ones cast into this situation, made redundant with fewer workers doing more work so company profits can increase and the bosses pay themselves a bigger bonus.

The benefit system is your safety net and you are helping to cut it away. Keep cutting and it may not be there when you need it. Then what will you do?


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