Can just imagine Liam Byrne and Iain Duncan Smith doing a musical double act by singing “Anything You Can Do I Can Do Better”… as they both like to out do each other shafting people on benefits. Both claim to be “tough” on “benefit scroungers”.. And the latest drivel from Byrne is no different:
Labour today defended its plans to deprive the long-term unemployed of their benefits if they refuse to take up the offer of a “guaranteed” job.
Liam Byrne, the shadow Work and Pensions Secretary, said: “For some people, I accept that will be a culture shock, but for many more it will be a lifeline.” He added: “the best way to bring the welfare budget down, is to push people into work.”
Under the proposal, likely to feature in the party’s manifesto at the next election, a Labour Government would guarantee six months’ work to the 130,000 adults over 25 who have been unemployed for two years or more. They would be paid at least the minimum wage for 25 hours a week, leaving them time for training and searching for a permanent job.
- On average people think that 41 per cent of the entire welfare budget goes on benefits to unemployed people, while the true figure is 3 per cent.
- On average people think that 27 per cent of the welfare budget is claimed fraudulently, while the government’s own figure is 0.7 per cent.
- On average people think that almost half the people (48 per cent) who claim Jobseeker’s Allowance go on to claim it for more than a year, while the true figure is just under 30 per cent (27.8 per cent).
- On average people think that an unemployed couple with two school-age children would get £147 in Jobseeker’s Allowance – more than 30 per cent higher than the £111.45 they would actually receive – a £35 over-calculation.
- Only 21 per cent of people think that this family with two school-age children would be better off if one of the unemployed parents got a 30 hour a week minimum wage job, even though they would actually end up £138 a week better off. Even those who thought they would be better off only thought on average they would gain by £59.
The poll confirms that hostile attitudes to welfare are widespread – with over four-tenths (42 per cent) thinking that benefits are too generous and nearly three in five (59 per cent) agreeing that our current welfare system has created a culture of dependency.
And who created the culture of dependency myth? Indeed… New Labour and the ConDems are continuing where Labour left off. The narrative about benefits and welfare reform has been highjacked by the right, along with adding distraction, lies and divide and rule. It’s so simple to blame the poorest in this society.
George Osborne, the Chancellor, has spoken about “the shiftworker, leaving home in the dark hours of the early morning, who looks up at the closed blinds of their next-door neighbour sleeping off a life on benefits”.
If Miliband was serious with an alternative, to stamp his own political authority and leadership then he could/should counteract these lies as opposed to hitching a ride on the coat tails of the ConDems. Labour leadership is declaring war on the poor. So it’s up to the Left to push forward the truth about demonisation and just how squalid the ConDems and Labour are in blaming the poorest, getting the message out there that this is nothing but a witch hunt against people on the benefits. Don’t let the ConDems and Labour get away with these hurtful and damaging lies…..