The Mail bares its teeth…
It must be summer recess when the good ol’ Daily Mail has to let it’s blood boil over and works up a lather against ‘scroungers’, single parents and assorted other ‘miscreants’. Apparently, the news that the ‘real jobless total’ is set to ‘soar’ to 6.8 million ‘ raising fears Labour has created a generation of benefit addicts ‘. Obviously, nobody has told the writers at the Mail that generally something that is addictive is so because it is in some way pleasurable or beneficial to be addictive.
The figures breakdown like this;
“This includes 1.6million on Jobseeker’s Allowance and 2.6million on incapacity benefit and its replacement Employment and Support Allowance – more than a million of whom the Government believes are perfectly capable of working.
There are also 736,000 on lone parent payments, 400,000 carers, 363,000 on disabled benefit, 182,000 on other income-related benefits and 95,000 who live on bereavement benefits.”
Notice the weasel phrase ‘believe’ they can work which is so much more less convincing than it sounds. The Conservatives plan to solve this problem by moving claimants of Incapacity Benefit to Job Seekers Allowance. However, these proposals which show a true return to form for the Conservatives, should be greeted with extreme scepticism; already the focus of welfare policy is tilted too far to a quantitative reduction of the numbers and not enough focus on the qualitative improvement of peoples position. Reform of IB is also likely to hit vulnerable people, for example, those with mental health issues which will, wrongly, not be considered a barrier to working.
If you look at the other groups then you have 736,000 and 400,000 (single parents & carers) who are actually performing a social service either in rearing young or caring for people who need it. Were the the 736,000 to abandon their young and raise them as ‘latch-key’ kids (no doubt doing loads of horrible things) the Mail would be the first to complain. In the undignified rush to reduce government expenditure it will be no doubt be the most vulnerable groups that suffer the most.