Monday, 5 October 2009

Slash, Slash, Slash

OR ELSE!
"Radical reforms," "massive shake-ups", "difficult decisions" and "drastic cuts". Whatever you do, David, do it to the sick and injured first. Now Cameron wants to go for those on incapacity benefit.

From what I know from friends, it isn't that easy to get Incapacity Benefit and there are already standards in place to get medical acknowledgement of someone's ability or inability to work. I believe the re-assessments are already quite regular. Yep...the Tories are about to get nasty.

11 comments:

JamesP said...

The problem is that there's no money left and the poor are terribly expensive...

The Bones said...

Not as expensive as some of our politicians and not as expensive as the Wars on Terror.

Physiocrat said...

In the 1990s they put the unemployed onto incapacity benefit to make the figures look better. Then there was all sorts of attempts to withdraw the benefit. The effect was marginal.

But now, where are the jobs? It would help if the government stopped penalising employers for employing people.

It is simple arithmetic. How much would someone get in benefit when out of work? Jobseeker's allowance, Housing Benefit and all the other things that come free. Now work out how much it would cost an employer to give the same person a job and leave them with the same amount, and that is before the person has to pay the extra costs of going to work, such as travel and meals out.

There is a big difference between the two figures. This used to be called the tax wedge but people who ought to know about it appear to have forgotten, including all the country's politicians and media commentators.

But if the aim is to get people into employment, which is no bad thing, the first thing to do is to get rid of the tax wedge by raising the thresholds for PAYE and Employers' and Employees' National Insurance contributions. Which does not have the headline-catching appeal of "force the welfare scroungers off their arses" but is actually one of the things that absolutely needs to be done.

JamesP said...

For the record, I was attempting satire (badly).

Physiocrat said...

When satire can so easily be mistaken for serious comment we have a big problem.

Richard Collins said...

You only have to stroll through town to see those on incapacity benefit who are not playing the game (or, perhaps are).
There is considerable abuse of this support and it does need a fair and just assessment to get it working properly.
Can't see that there is too much wrong with that.

The Bones said...

James ;-)

I know! It wasn't done badly!

Physiocrat said...

Shepherd, you obviously have a remarkable ability to assess other people's medical conditions at a glance.

I am impressed.

Richard Collins said...

Henry - you have to live in a country town of c. 14,000 souls where most know each other. Better still, you have to have worked in an environment where you meet and work with people whose role it is to monitor, evaluate, medically check the local populace.
Better still, you need to live opposite a house of multiple occupancy where some 25 individuals rip off the state and our taxes on a daily basis. They live it up drinking and drugging into the wee small hours and return to their pads where they try to kill one another. Fighting fit, literally. And most of them are on incapacity benefit.
A microcosm of humanity, I admit but I'll bet its replicated throughout the country.

Physiocrat said...

@Shepherd

Lovely neighbours you must have. Are they fit for work? Would you give any of them a job? This is Britain 2009. An incapacitated country, you might say.

Richard Collins said...

Henry - fit for work but good for nothing...that sounds most uncharitable and I do not really mean it but they are a drain on the awful welfare state.

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