We wake up to news that our Prime Minister, Mr Cameron, wants to stop the benefits of people who refuse to stop being fat or drunk or smokers. Like it’s, “right you’ve all had your fun this week shouting at super rich tax evaders, can we shift the agenda back to where I want it?”
From The Independent (June 2014) “Just 0.7 per cent – or £1.2bn – of total benefit expenditure in 2012/13 was overpaid due to fraud. This compares with £5bn a year that the government loses through tax avoidance.”
Billions of pounds leave the country to tax havens and whatever you think about people on benefits 1. they cost us considerably less than tax evaders and 2. The money stays in the country. In fact if you consider that many benefit payments are cash injections into society’s poorest areas they are, in fact, a good thing and should be massively increased.
People who like to vilify folk on Job Seekers Allowance will point at how much the UK benefit bill amounts to but the part of the equation that they never mention is that the majority of that bill is made up of old age pension payments. This from The Guardian November 2014 –“If we include state pensions, the overall benefits bill is in excess of £150bn a year. But only about £4bn of this goes to the best-known benefit for people out of work: JSA. That’s less than 0.6% of tax revenues – and much less than goes to topping up people in low-paid jobs.”
People working hard to survive don’t like the idea of idle ball-scratchers and permanently pregnant trollops sitting about the house all day seemingly enjoying a superior life-style to them. But until we manage something close to 100 percent employment we have to live with them because most of the people out of work don’t actually like it if you take the time to ask them. Some people are fat lazy fucking idiots – they just are – and you want to force them to work? Do you want them to work with or for you? Turning up late, pretending to be ill, nipping out for a smoke, moaning about having to do anything, hiding in the toilets? Of course you don’t. But that’s what you risk if you try and bully people into jobs they don’t want to do.
I was a benefit scrounger in the golden age of benefit scrounging: the 1980s; your dole would cover food, rent, match tickets, a modest amount of beer, live music, heating and if you chose to have one, a TV licence. During that time I learnt to type, play the drums, be fuel and food efficient, sleep for 14 hours a night during the winter and really appreciate life’s tiniest luxuries. I was far from alone, most of the nation’s most important music and comedy between the 70s and 90s came from people mastering their craft at the tax payers’ expense. Look at your musical history; The Clash were on the dole, Joy Division, The Smiths, Happy Mondays, Oasis – would those bands have happened if they were all forced to work in a call centre or pick turnips all day?
I appreciate times have changed considerably but what remains the same is that most people out of work, or not getting by on part-time/zero-hours contracts, do want a proper job. Many of them were turfed out of their decent jobs by the same people calling them “scroungers.” They are refugees in the Tory war on public services.
No, the emphasis has to stay on the super-rich evading their taxes and no, we won’t be waiting for the “trickle-down effect” where we let these people keep getting richer until somehow money starts seeping out of them for the good of society like George fucking Osborne, the shit-bag reptile, keeps telling us will happen. We’ve heard this claim before and experience proves it doesn’t happen.
“Ah but we used to make things in this country – manufacturing kept people in work.” Well there was a report on Radio 4 this week saying manufacturing has never been higher in this country. Problem is, two thirds of what used to be people’s jobs is now done by machines. This is the future we were promised – robots and computers doing all the work so we don’t have to, why do people have to be punished for it? We have nearly made it, just a bit more to go and nobody should have to work if they don’t want to. So double the benefits.
Double the benefits – but here is the proper clever bit. You can only have double benefits if you produce a set amount of electricity at one of the new Government Super-Gyms. The Super-Gyms are plugged into the national grid and people on bike/rowing machines and cross trainers spend up to 10 hours a week powering the massive turbines that will replace the need for coal, fracking, wind farms and nuclear energy.
People would be fitter, which eases the burden on the NHS, and because you are done with work for the week as soon as you have peddled out your quota people will have an incentive to eat better, not smoke, not be pissed on fake vodka at 10am and not sit around the house with their filthy paws down their trackie bottoms all day.
It’s such a bloody brilliant idea I can’t believe nobody has thought of it before. Unless everybody who came up with the idea before me has been killed by our lizard overlords.
I guess we will see.