Friday, September 17, 2010

Quote of the Day

Extract from Chris Mullin's diaries...

"Our vast benefit culture is long overdue for a challenge - a view shared by many of my working class constituents, who deeply resent the scams they see going on around them. Later, during a division, John (Hutton) whispered that he knew of an amateur football team, currently topping a local league, in which eight of the eleven players recently fielded were on Incapacity Benefit."

Discuss.

18 comments:

tapestry said...

Not West Ham obviously.

Why is anyone surprised that people apply for free money, when it's made available. Brown imagined this would be a dead cert for winning elections.

Not a sheep said...

Labour are hypocrites; how is this news or indeed surprising?

Scan said...

Did John Hutton report any of those 8 players?

IanVisits said...

The problem with this sort of debate is sadly, that it relies far too often on these whispered snippets of gossip to justify cuts.

Then the majority of legitimate claimants feel they are being punished for the actions of a minority.

Much better to have a sombre serious debate about how to help the unemployed get back into work - than snide comments about benefits cheats.

Sell the reforms as a good thing for the claimants, not as punishment for daring to be unemployed.

Fortunately, that is the path that Iain Duncan-Smith seems to be following.

chris said...

"Brown imagined this would be a dead cert for winning elections."

And Nulab (shortly to be reinstated in the Labour party by D. Miliband still believe this.

The coalition should take every advantage of their position and remove the vote from those on benefit. That'll nip it in the bud.

No more labour votes paid for by those who work.

You know it makes sense.

chris said...

"Brown imagined this would be a dead cert for winning elections."

And Nulab (shortly to be reinstated in the Labour party by D. Miliband still believe this.

The coalition should take every advantage of their position and remove the vote from those on benefit. That'll nip it in the bud.

No more labour votes paid for by those who work.

You know it makes sense.

Unsworth said...

No discussion necessary. Mullin is merely and belatedly confirming the universal truths that a) this has gone on for many years, and b) no one in the Labour Party ever saw fit to call a halt to it.

See it's not theft from the State, it's theft from all those paying taxes - you know, those 'hard working families' that NuLab were/are so desperate to support (allegedly).

Whispering Hutton, eh? In so many senses.

notayesmanseconomics said...

Hi Iain

Firstly congratulations on your new evening show on LBC.I came to your blog via LBC so to speak.

I thought that you might be interested in a view from a different perspective on the quote you have given. I write an economics blog under the title of notayesmanseconomics and my subject today has been Ireland.I conclude with "she in my view could add to those strengths by again acting decisively and calling in the EU/IMF to help her."

My point is that although many issues do not reach the headlines there are still serious economic problems in Europe and they do stretch further than Greece. In the light of such events wilfully allowing people to falsely claim benefits or at least ignoring it was and is something that we cannot afford.

Greece may seem a long way away but Ireland certainly isn't.

Jimmy said...

It's a fair point, but let's not pretend that the device of putting able bodied people on incapacity to massage the unemployment figures is a practice which started in 1997.

norfolkandchance said...

Before this turns into a "stuff the poor" thread may I just mention that I had a medical by the DWP this week and, as a friend who is a CAB advisor put it, "if you have a pulse they turn you down". They were certainly rather more interested in what I could do than what I couldn't.

The notion that there is free money for scroungers is ludicrous.

Gareth said...

There is an easy answer to it that politicians continually run away from: Keep existing benefit claimants largely as they are but introduce a much more stringent regime for new claimants.

It wouldn't deal with the current cost of people receiving money they should not or receiving more money than is rational, reasonable and affordable but it would stop the problem from growing and reduce the cost over time. We do not need to pay child benefit beyond say, 13. We should not pay for an unlimited number of children. A time limit on unemployment benefits. That sort of thing.

We do have a welfare trap and people do make rational decisions that they are better off sticking their hand out rather than working. But it also reduces the resources available to those who are in need, destroys work ethic and causes problems that the Police and social services spend a lot of time and money dealing with.

Instead, welfare is an ideal political football to kick around without doing anything about it so long as suggestions to sort it out can be painted as throwing *existing* subsidised families out on the street. People like to wheel out the 'we've got no council houses left' type arguments too without realising *that* is not the problem - what matters is who pays the household bills and in too many homes it is taxpayers.

Phil said...

Welfare claimants should be assessed for what they could possibly earn - tops - if they were able to work, and that is what their benefits should be capped at.

It is ridiculous to find scroungers with large families who get more on benefits than a brain surgeon can earn, but who would be hard put to qualify for a minimum wage emptying our bins.

Charlotte Corday said...

Didn't Labour bring in Employment Support Allowance in place of Incapacity Benefit with a much tougher medical test?

John said...

So, why didn't John Hutton ring the DWP's benefit cheats line?

Probably Labour voters.

John said...

@IanVisits

"Fortunately, that is the path that Iain Duncan-Smith seems to be following."

To me, IDS (along with, potentially, Frank Field) is the most admirable MP of his generation.

After losing the Tory leadership he has gone on a long (quiet) journey and backs up his ideas with solid research.

He's actually shown a sincere desire to help and understand the underprivileged.

This is a far cry from Balls and Brown. I'm half convinced that their Tax Credits policy was an attempt to tie people into voting Labour (in-case the nasty Tories took away their Tax credits).

Brian said...

@norfolkandchance: You are absolutely right. PC David Rathband was recently awarded the lower rate mobility component of Disability Living Allowance.
The system is geared against people who attempt to be positive and strive to improve their healthy and ignore their disability as far as possible.
Labour loves losers.

Unsworth said...

@ Jimmy

"let's not pretend that the device of putting able bodied people on incapacity to massage the unemployment figures is a practice which started in 1997."

Anybody actually say that?

And, anyway, just because others may have 'started' something doesn't mean it should continue, does it? After all, look at what NuLab 'started'. Only it all Started in America, didn't it?

Ian said...

IanVisits said "Much better to have a sombre serious debate about how to help the unemployed get back into work - than snide comments about benefits cheats."

The problem is that many unemployed people have been forgotten about by being placed onto incapacity benefits. A genuine discussion needs to take place on who really should be on incapacity and who should be on unemployment benefit.

As soon as anyone raises the question of incapacity benefit they are attacked for going after disabled people.

I have four members of my family on incapacity benefit. One quit work with stress fifteen years ago and two are ex-addicts in their thirties who have never worked. All three of these are able to work - they choose not to work because they don't want to. (The fourth member, has emphysema - and although her condition is genuine, even they work cash-in hand cleaning when they are able).

The welfare trap needs sorting and these people need to be told they can work and made to do so.