Monday, 5 October 2009

Mainstream Benefits Consensus Is Sickening

Apparently, the Tories are going to create jobs and opportunity by cutting benefits for disabled people.

Yes, I don't quite see how that one is going to work, either. It seems to me that further reducing the spending power of vulnerable people, dumping them on the JSA, and then forcing them to compete with millions of other unemployed people for dead-end jobs is probably not the solution to our economic ills. Economic ills which, lest we forget, have been brought about in large part by the kind of unregulated, cut throat, free market economics that the Tories have championed for so long.

Not that you'll hear Labour criticising the plans too loudly. Why? Well, because, as this piece by the BBC's Nick Robinson makes plain, there is a cosy consensus when it comes to benefits policy between Labour and the Tories. Neither are interested in supporting vulnerable people or maintaining a strong safety net for those who need society's help, but rather scapegoating easy targets for a quick headline. Little wonder then that Sir David Freud (who famously wrote New Labour's benefits policy in only three weeks, having never been on benefit himself and apparently not bothering to speak to anyone who had been) has so easily jumped from the sinking Labour ship and onto the Tory platform. I guess that is what rats do.

The Green Party's economics spokesperson, Molly Scott-Cato, explains the sheer idiocy of the Tory approach better than I can, while the excellent and still inexplicably Labour Don Paskini gives a short version of the Conservative policy on his blog.

The long and the short of it is - under either Tories or Labour, people on benefits will be treated as electoral punchbags for middle England. By the Greens, they will be treated as human beings who have a valuable contribution to make towards society. If I'm elected as an MP, I'll be campaigning to raise JSA, not lower Incapacity Benefit.

No comments:

Post a Comment