Tuesday, 19 January 2010

UKIP Welfare Policy - Robbing the Poor to Enrich the Rich

UKIP have announced their welfare policy which is a mixture of 1 valid point and utter nonsense.

My comments on the UKIP policies predicated by the # symbol as below ;

1 Welfare State and the Social Costs

* The current welfare state leads to a decline in the work ethic and self reliance. It is also implicated in other social pathologies such as family breakdown, criminality and educational underachievement, and requires dramatic simplification.

# Utter rubbish. The welfare state assists people back into work and ensures we do not have a society where the poor are punished for being poor. The breakdown in the idea of the work ethic is nonsense, as without jobs for people to take then the 'work ethic' is meaningless. Perhaps Lord Person should leave his grouse moor in Scotland and visit a devastated steel town, mining community, ex-fishing town and see the real world where mass unemployment is inter-generational and caused by the government he worked for, Thatchers, when she globalised the British economy and opened us up to the EU. Family breakdowns etc are products of unemployment, not the welfare state. Educational under achievement is a product of decades of Far Left trendy teaching in schools and a culture of under achievement imposed by such teaching methods. The Welfare State is not the problem, it is our society and the dysfunctional economic model that drives people into unemployment, ships British jobs abroad and imports in millions of immigrant workers to take British jobs, thereby driving our people into unemployment and welfare dependency that is the problem. Trust UKIp to miss the bloody obvious.

2 Child Benefit, Child Tax Credits and the Education Maintenance Allowance

* Child Benefit, the Child Trust Fund, Child Tax Credits and the Education Maintenance Allowance should be merged into an enhanced Child Benefit payable for each of the first three children in each family.

# This point dealt with below.

* The Childcare element of Working Tax Credits, Early Years Funding, Sure Start expenditure and the tax relief on Employer Nursery Vouchers should be replaced with flat-rate, non-means tested nursery vouchers to cover around half the cost of a full-time nursery place for all children aged two to four.

#This point dealt with below.

3 Housing Benefit and Social (Council) Housing

* Instead of social housing being let at below-market rents with tenants liable for full Council Tax, with social tenants entitled to claim income-related Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit, local councils should charge social tenants an all-inclusive rent (rent plus Council Tax), set at a flat percentage of the tenant household’s gross income.

# this point dealt with below.

* Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit for private tenants should be phased out and replaced with ‘Workfare’ jobs, which will be administered by local councils, to ensure that those who would otherwise not be able to find work can still cover their rent and Council Tax, as well as contributing something of value to the local community (see Appendix 3).

4 Job Seekers Allowance and other key benefits

* All other ‘key benefits’ (Jobseeker’s Allowance, Incapacity Benefit, Income Support, Carer’s Allowance, Statutory Maternity Pay) as well as student maintenance grants should be rolled into a single, flat-rate Basic Cash Benefit (‘BCB’), set at the same weekly rate as Jobseeker’s Allowance/Income Support.

* Entitlement to the BCB should be extended to all low- and non-earners, in particular, to married or co-habiting mothers, students and carers, irrespective of household composition, income or assets.

* The ‘BCB’ should not be means-tested, however, to ensure that claimants are not at an advantage compared to normal taxpayers, claimants would not also be entitled to the enhanced tax-free personal allowance of £11,500 recommended in UKIP’s flat tax policy. Part-time and temporary workers would be allowed to continue claiming the BCB, but once their wages reach the level of the personal allowance, the BCB claimed and the tax paid will net off to nothing.

5 Disability Allowance

* UKIP fully supports those who cannot work and have disabilities. UKIP does not propose any changes to Disability Living Allowance, Attendance Allowance or Mobility Allowance.

# Utter rubbish - Disability living allowance is an extra benefit only paid to the most disabled who require constant care and attention, and UKIP propose to cut benefits for those on DISABILITY BENEFIT and put them on a par with job seekers allowance - which equates to a cut in DISABILITY BENEFITS.

Therefore UKIP have a policy to cut disability benefits that will impact upon the poorest in our society. Well done you UKIP scum.

6 Benefit Fraud, Error and Administration

* UKIP proposes to replace a myriad of complicated means-tested benefits with straightforward universal benefits, the running cost of the entire welfare and pensions systems will be no more than £1.7bn, giving a saving to the taxpayer of £8bn.

# This is the exact opposite of what is required. All universal benefits should be scrapped and all benefits means tested. These figures are nonsense. The billions paid out every year to those in jobs and earning high wages in universal benefits is a disgrace. Prince Charles was entitled to claim universal benefits for William and Harry, therefore such a system is farsical. The money not paid our in universal benefits to people not in poverty would far outweigh the present system.

7 Benefits, Immigration and the EU dimension

* EU rules allow immigrants the same benefits as British citizens

* UKIP would only allow entitlement to welfare benefits after a minimum waiting period of ten years and on obtaining British citizenship for those who originally entered the country with a valid work permit or for reasons of marriage to a British citizen. Anyone who had entered the country under any other circumstances would not qualify.

## More nonsense. Only those who were born here and have paid in all their lives should get paid out. That means all new immigrants into the UK should not be entitled to any benefits, schooling or NHS care. They should pay private care payments to receive private care and not NHS care, and if they do not do so then they will be removed from the country. They should also pay into private insurance schemes for welfare payments if they become unemployed, if they dont they are removed from the country. The Welfare State and the NHS has been internationalised and this has to stop, the NHS has to become for the British people only, not the world. Those immigrants who enter the country will not be entitled to any benefits. They will pay for private healthcare, education and other costs all their lives. Their children, but only if born in Britain, at the moment they leave school will be able to start paying National Insurance contributions and join the Welfare State and NHS etc if they choose. Their parents will not be entitled to any benefits and only private pensions.

8 Welfare dependency and family breakdown

* UKIP would remove the "couple penalty" in benefits for married couples. UKIP would also introduce a flat tax policy that would disincentive young single mothers from getting pregnant purely to obtain financial/benefits advantages.

# All benefits should be means tested and all benefits based on solely on income.

9 Welfare dependency and willingness to work

* UKIP would abolish employers' and employees' national insurance, and introduce a flat tax. This would mean low income workers would keep more of their wages, and thus are not tempted to fall back into welfare dependency.

# see below.

* UKIP will require those seeking benefits to take part in 'Workfare' schemes i.e. some kind of work such as litter collection or graffiti removal. These schemes will be decided upon and run by local councils ( see Appendix 3 ).

# Having local councils run this scheme is absurd.

Local people should be able to be funded via our regional currencies projects to establish local workfare boards that will co-ordinate the unemployed in an area. Those who participate in such projects will receive extra payments as atop up to their benefits paid via regional currencies. Those who refuse will have their benefits cut.

10 Part time workers and benefits

* UKIP welfare policy would allow full time carers to work, and not worry about a 'cut off point' at which their benefits will be cut if they earn above a certain amount.

# One decent idea amongst a whole load of rubbish.

Here are some of my proposals and below that a critique of UKIPs from a blogger and also the response from a pro-UKIP blogger on the democracy forum.

As for the BNP welfare policies, I believe we should say that ;

1) We will use or regional currencies project to pay pensioners and disabled extra payments in regional currencies to be used in registered local shops such as locally produced agricultural markets, local shops and local services. As this money will go straight back into the local economy and sustain local development and local markets, this will assist in our Localisation Project to re-develop local agriculture, local economies and local commerce.

At the same time the pensioners, disabled and the unemployed, if they join workfare projects, will have a real rise in incomes that will aid them.

2) We ban all payments for any benefits outside Britain.

3) We make all benefits means tested and scrap all non-means tested entitlements. Only those who are living on low incomes should be entitled to benefits by right, and when those on high incomes lose their jobs to offshoring, crashes in the global economy etc then they will be able to also have decent standard of living when they need it.

One of the posters on the Democracy Forum website made the following pertinent comments on the policy - my comments are predicated by the # symbol ;

1.) Enhanced Child Benefit will be payable for each of the first three children in each family. This obviously penalises poorer parents, who tend to have larger families. Why is it payable only to the first three children - has this number been plucked out of thin air?

# The BNP policy of ending all immigration into the UK and deporting all illegal entrants, overstayers, unemployed migrant workers, foreign criminals, naturalised citizens with serious criminal records, bogus asylum seekers, asylum seekers who have come from countries now at peace etc etc will reduce the UK population by about 3 million, which will also save us billions in welfare payments. As the indigenous British population is now no longer reproducing at replacement level, then there is no reason to penalise British families with more than 3 children, seeing as they are merely adding to a steadily falling British population. Therefore this UKIP policy will merely increase poverty amongst British families and undermine the very notion of a fair and equal society.

2.) Flat-rate, non-means tested nursery vouchers to cover around half the cost of a full-time nursery place for all children aged two to four. Again, this is to the benefit of wealthy parents and will disadvantage families on low incomes.

# Why should wealthy families be entitled to any benefits at all ? Universal Benefits that allow greedy people to claim money they do not deserve are an affront to any decent society. All benefits should be means tested and targeted and universal benefits scrapped. Only the deserving get benefits, and only the British people seeing as hundreds of millions per year are being spent on benefits being shipped abroad. Wealthy families whose incomes mean they can afford to pay full nursery costs should do so.

3.) Local councils should charge social tenants an all-inclusive rent (rent plus Council Tax), set at a flat percentage of the tenant householder's gross income. UKIP should be made aware that there are very few councils that now set rent levels for social housing. The majority of social housing is now controlled by Arms Length Management Organisations (ALMO's) who are responsible for rents, repairs and letting.

# A basic mistake by UKIP. Social tenants rents should be based on income, in that those who earn more pay more.

4.) Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit for private tenants should be phased out and replaced with Workfare jobs, which will be administered by local councils. Why only apply workfare policy to private tenants?

# Utter nonsense. Local councils are amongst the most profligate, incompetent and useless bodies in the country, as we have seen in the rotten Labour boroughs across Britain and to allow them to have even more power to wage their social engineering projects would be insane. Leave the present system as it is and leave council to emptying bins, fitting tracking devices on them, wiretapping parents who apply for the wrong schools, intercepting e mails from dog mess droppers, accepting Mosque building proposals and the rest of the nonsense jobs they do as part of the Fascist Nanny State. We should be cutting councils powers, not increasing them.

UKIP do not understand that we should be devolving power down to local PEOPLE not more useless bodies like councils.

5.) All other key benefits; (Job Seekers Allowance, Incapacity Benefit, Income Support, Carer's Allowance, Statutory Maternity Pay) as well as student maintenance grants should be rolled into a single, flat-rate Basic Cash Benefit, set at the same weekly rate as Job Seeker's Allowance/Income Support. As Jobseekers Allowance is set at a level well below that of Incapacity benefit, disabled and chronically ill people would find their income greatly reduced under a UKIP government. Attacking the living standards of a vulnerable and disadvantaged group, well done UKIP.

# Another great idea from UKIP - impoverish the most vulnerable. Ignore the fact that the disabled have extra costs, needs etc and cannot work. UKIP Idiots.

6.) An Enhanced tax-free personal allowance of £11,500 recommended in UKIP's flat tax policy. This is a pitiful amount for a tax free allowance, barely above the £6,475 we currently enjoy. The BNP recommends that people earning less than £15,000 should not pay income tax at all.

# Yep thats right.

UKIP's support for a flat rate tax is simply another policy to aid the super rich. A flat rate of tax (proportional tax) is not fair, as it moves the tax burden off the wealthy and onto the middle class. By limiting the tax to paid salary, wealthier people who earn proportionally more money from investments and savings are not taxed on this at all. The wealthy would actually be paying less, as a percentage of their monetary gains, than the poor.

A flat rate of tax benefits the rich at the expense of the poor. In combination with indirect taxes, a flat tax will force lower-income people to pay a greater percentage of their income in taxes. Lord Pearson would benefit from this, people on low incomes would not. Don't vote UKIP - they are worse than the Tories...

Below this was a response from a UKIP supporter revealing that the true intent of UKIP is to destroy the welfare state and remove all benefits ;

(1) Poor families shouldn't be having children that they can't afford. Why should the taxpayer be lumbered with the bill? I think that people who are currently on benefits shouldn't receive any additional benefits for children born while they are on the dole.

(2) A flat rate tax system is the fairest of all. Progressive tax is a socialist abomination.

(3) Ideally, social housing should be sold off for a good price. All council tenants should be left to make their own arrangements with private landlords. There should be a ceiling to the amount of rent that can be claimed on benefits - say £550 pcm for a family of 3-4 in most of Britain. Of course, this amount should be reduced year on year so that the tenants can learn to pay their own way. A valuable lesson for them to learn.

(4) Yes, housing benefit etc should be phased out, but it shouldn't be replaced with anything. People should learn some independence instead of sucking off the state teat.

(5) Job Seekers' Benefit, Incapacity Benefit, and all those other dole scrounging benefits should be phased out. This will be part of the education that socialists will receive in how to be self-reliant.

(6) I think income tax should be completely abolished. This will serve as an inducement for lazy socialists to get a job.

The welfare state will end at some point. It's up to people to prepare themselves for this event. I've heard people who are on incapacity benefit, unemployment benefit and probably lots of other benefits say "we're millionaires!". It may seem that way just now, but you just wait for the plug to be pulled. They will be destitute, starving and unable to provide for themselves.

It'll be more humane to phase out the welfare state just now so people can at least have a chance in the future.

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David T said...

This is the first post I have disagreed with your analysis Mr Barnes. The benefits system is too generous and is being sucked dry not by the genuinely vulnerable but by people who are actually well enough to work. Just ask around and you'll learn about many people who use the slightest pain to claim disability benefit, which means bumper benefits for their family, and they can also work up to 16 hours a week and top up their claim with a whole range of benefits. This is not fair. Welfare is a disincentive to work Lord Pearson is correct. Flat tax is good and benefits everyone including the working class people who won't pay any tax on ther first 10k they earn and also they will have more jobs on offer since the job-providers are not squeezed as much they have more to invest in creating jobs.

Anonymous said...

Totally agree with David T. We encourage failure because of our over generous current benefits system and waste billions on meaningless bureaucracy.