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Austerity or Ideology?


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Unfortunately, the likes of Mick Philpott are the people who give the welfare state a bad name especially when you hear about their lives of luxury while next door their neighbours are just existing.The welfare state is not perfect & is open to abuse but with the employment situation at present it is not that easy to get people off it.The over riding  need is to get people back to work for decent wages so they can pay tax etc & have money to spend in the economy & help the wheels of industry back into motion. Unfortunately, what jobs are on offer are generally agency provided with zero hours contracts & are hardly a basis to encourage people off benefit.This is where the government needs to step in &  ensure that jobs are full time  to get people interested   even helping with initial travel to work cost if necessary.

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Any other areas that could be trimmed Obs?


prisons.... give the prisoners slops. take away their libraries, take away their TV's and benefits....


Police; stop buying them top of the range cars for driving up and down the motorways every two years....


MP's.... cut the number in half and end their subsidised bar and food bills.....


three to start with

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As I've said ad nauseum in other posts Kije;  doling money out isn't the way to help where it's needed. A negative tax on those items essential to "the needy", would probably prove less expensive to the exchequer, and might help as an incentive for folk to earn money for booze and fags etc. The benefits system has evolved, and is now so complex some simplification is warranted - where and how, is a matter for debate.  What isn't up for debate is the principle of health care, free at the point of need; which the involvement of the private sector will undermine.

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Suppose that every day, ten men go out for beer and the bill for all ten comes to £100...
If they paid their bill the way we pay our taxes, it would go something like this...

The first four men (the poorest) would pay nothing.
The fifth would pay £1.
... The sixth would pay £3.
The seventh would pay £7..
The eighth would pay £12.
The ninth would pay £18.
The tenth man (the richest) would pay £59.

So, that's what they decided to do..

The ten men drank in the bar every day and seemed quite happy with the arrangement, until one day, the owner threw them a curve ball.

"Since you are all such good customers," he said, "I'm going to reduce the cost of your daily beer by £20". Drinks for the ten men would now cost just £80.

The group still wanted to pay their bill the way we pay our taxes.

So the first four men were unaffected.

They would still drink for free. But what about the other six men?
The paying customers?

How could they divide the £20 windfall so that everyone would get his fair share?

They realised that £20 divided by six is £3.33. But if they
subtracted that from everybody's share, then the fifth man and the sixth man would each end up being paid to drink his beer.

So, the bar owner suggested that it would be fair to reduce each man's bill by a higher percentage the poorer he was, to follow the principle of the tax system they had been using, and he proceeded to work out the amounts he suggested that each should now pay.

And so the fifth man, like the first four, now paid nothing (100% saving).

The sixth now paid £2 instead of £3 (33% saving).

The seventh now paid £5 instead of £7 (28% saving).
The eighth now paid £9 instead of £12 (25% saving).

The ninth now paid £14 instead of £18 (22% saving).

The tenth now paid £49 instead of £59 (16% saving).

Each of the six was better off than before. And the first four continued to drink for free. But, once outside the bar, the men began to compare their savings.

"I only got a pound out of the £20 saving," declared the sixth man.

He pointed to the tenth man, "but he got £10!"

"Yeah, that's right," exclaimed the fifth man. "I only saved a pound too. It's unfair that he got ten times more benefit than me!"

"That's true!" shouted the seventh man. "Why should he get £10 back, when I got only £2? The wealthy get all the breaks!"

"Wait a minute," yelled the first four men in unison, "we didn't get anything at all. This new tax system exploits the poor!"

The nine men surrounded the tenth and beat him up.

The next night the tenth man didn't show up for drinks, so the nine sat down and had their beers without him. But when it came time to pay the bill, they discovered something important. They didn't have enough money between all of them for even half of the bill!

And that, boys and girls, journalists and government ministers, is how our tax system works.

The people who already pay the highest taxes will naturally get the most benefit from a tax reduction.

Tax them too much, attack them for being wealthy, and they just may not show up anymore.

In fact, they might start drinking overseas, where the atmosphere is somewhat friendlier.

David R. Kamerschen, Ph.D.
Professor of Economics.

For those who understand, no explanation is needed.
For those who do not understand, no explanation is possible
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I agree.... but it is impossible for him to live on £53.00 a week for a whole year. He would still have to pay his mortgages, bills etc. for his houses and things that he has bought whilst earning the MP's salaries...


It is a bit of a storm over nothing because it cannot be done without giving away everything he owns and starting from scratch.... and no one is going to do that.


Living on £53.00 a week for a few weeks is certainly possible; especially when you know that it is not long term and you get your £1000 a week back eventually! Others have done that "live on the dole for a fortnight" publicity stunts before

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All that's being shown here is the fact that the welfare state we have at the moment is unaffordable. The NHS has become a money gobbling monster that needs a real reform (forget all that free at the point of use claptrap - nothing in life is free). We, as a nation, cannot carry on borrowing money to pay our debts, it is madness which needs to be stopped. The government is not doing anything to stop it, in fact it is increasing spending and borrowing more money to pay for it. The opposition are clueless as well - they proved that during their 13 years of mismanagement. And before any of the clever dicks asks me for my solution - I don't have one. I'm not an economist but, on the other hand, I'm not the one who created the mess in the first place, that would be the "experts". (Expert = a hasbeen drip under pressure).

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Here is another aspect of the benefit cuts that i found out last night from someone who is on benefit. Until the changes  it was possible for claimants to apply for a crisis loan if some sudden unaffordable expense cropped up. Crisis loans have now been scrapped & anyone unfortunate enough to need one is advised to go to a pay day loan company & they now have to have a proper bank account ,a post office account will no longer suffice.If people are struggling to live on benefits i'm sure they will struggle even more when their exorbitant loan repayments start. Seems like another great government idea.

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The Welfare State was introduced at a time of extreme economic and social misfortune; following 6 years of WW2, the Country was bankrupted, folk were homeless and life for the great unwashed, exceedingly unhealthy. However, with the help of US loans, which took 60 years to pay back; we managed to grow our way out the mess. The Welfare State ensured that we were "all in it together"; with universal benefits to rectify a previous history of social inequality. So, it was done then, it can be done now; providing there is the political will. Having said that; since it's inception, the benefits system and the NHS have grown in their scope and complexity, with evolutionary add ons by successive Governments; and a culture of benefit dependency has developed; which does call for a fundamental review of the system, to simplify it and ensure targeted support to the needy rather than the greedy. However, we have a Government, that want's to take us back to a pre-Welfare State period, rather than aspiring to build a future for all, following the devastation inflicted by their mates in the City of London.

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