Monday, 10 December 2012
Busting the myths on benefits
As attacks and smears get harsher and faster on the poorest in society we are hearing more and more about the work shy, feckless poor, lazy benefit scroungers and much much worse being fed to us daily by the capitalists who control the media who daily play on stories of benefit cheats and how dare this person down your road be getting more for sitting at home and being paid for it while you slog away at work getting paid little. This is a complete lie of course benefits are not generous in this country at all and if anything are a very tough way to live. I suspect many couldn’t do it given the cost of living and how much in benefits you actually can get. SO is it true foreigners are flooding over here for our generous benefits who can apparently claim a free house free treatment on our NHS and live the life of riley. Is this actually the case? Reality would suggest not. While the benefit system in this country is not what anyone supports as a perfect system the benefits in this country do not compare to what is there in other nations such as France for example. Recently in George Osborne’s autumn statement he declared another round of cuts to benefits. His claim to want to make work pay is an illusion given the fact pay for many has been frozen for years in the public sector and in the private sector pay has gone back if anything given the level of inflation. This idea of cutting benefits back to make work pay is a false economy but this is not Osborne’s intention at all he is clearly doing the bidding of capitalism who demand the driving down of the living standards, pay and conditions of the working class to pay for their crisis. This is not about making work pay at all. He wants to set one group of working people against the other to avoid the blame himself. As unemployment rises, those in work are being forced to work longer hours, work harder, often being bullied and are doing so for less real pay. Who could blame those suffering in that way for idealising what an existence on benefits could mean. But Socialists say to workers and pensioners: "Beware!" Watch out for your wages and pensions, they plan to drive them down using the brutality of benefit cuts. Lord Bichard, former benefits chief, recently said that retired people should do community work or face losing some of their benefit. When did a fund you pay all your life become a benefit? When the Con-Dems want to make you pay for their crisis. The extreme acceleration of workfare the governments flagship scheme to get people back to work, what work you may ask has brutally failed missing its own 5% tiny target it’s no wonder people are getting angry and pissed off at a system which does not work for them. Capitalists will be thinking their Christmas’s have all come early with workfare being pursued by the Tories with such vigour this is almost 100% profit from all of the surplus value going to the capitalists while young people who are the ones often on these schemes but it’s rumoured the disabled will join them get their benefits if they are lucky. Many people believe it or not who receive benefits are in work themselves even housing benefit is mostly paid to those in work and are struggling to make their pay go far enough given the other rising costs of living in 2012. Regarding workers, benefit attacks are, plain and simple, the government's way of forcing down wages. Unemployment is an economic policy of capitalism to 'regulate the labour market'. Capitalist strategists actually debate what kind of unemployment they want. The long-term unemployed aren't 'good', they want more of a 'precariat': millions of insecure workers increasingly desperate and impoverished enough to take any job on any terms to undermine existing jobs, wages and conditions. They hope that, as a result, people will be too scared to fight back in the unions. This wwill not wash we have confidence that ordinary people will not just take this forever. We are seeing a lag in the class struggle where events are raining down on us so much it’s almost indignation fatigue tiredness from austerity. But this will not last the class struggle dictates workers and non working workers will return to struggle for better conditions and pay. We must fight with all our might to destroy and smash the myths on benefits and this scroungers and strivers idea the Tories are using. All working people are strivers some have a bit of luck and others, many others are crippled by a system which only wants their labour power their pound of flesh. Sheffield socialist party has produced this myth buster which I hope they don’t mind me sharing with you all its fantastic. If this piece made it into the mass media or a opposition used this to defeat the lies we could really get somewhere as it is Labour buy into the scroungers idea too unfortunately something we must fight against too as they are no better. The welfare state has led to a 'something for nothing' culture? IT'S A LIE. There are over 8 million people receiving benefits in this country. There are more people IN WORK who get benefits than not working. 90% of all housing benefit claimants are IN WORK. The Welfare state is actually a massive state subsidy to business which enables it to pay poverty wages and charge exorbitant rents. You're all sick of paying a huge swathe of chavs to lay about watching Jeremy Kyle all day? IT'S A LIE. Less than 5,000 people, out of a population of 60 million, have been on Job Seekers Allowance for more than 5 years. Historically, whenever jobs get created, they always get filled. The idea that there is a vast horde of the work-shy is a myth. Living on benefits is a lifestyle choice? IT'S A LIE. More than 80% of benefit claimants are aged over 35. The vast majority of unemployed claimants have worked, and paid taxes, for years and are now on benefits due to redundancy, sickness, disability or having to care for someone. Millions more are receiving benefits due to poverty wages. People won't work because benefits are too high? IT'S A LIE. Average benefits amount to £3,400 a year. These people are living in poverty. Since 1997, due to various Government actions, the value of benefits has fallen sharply year on year in real terms. People on benefits are far worse off now than in the last 30 years. People should get off their arses and look for work? IT'S A LIE. When Iain Duncan Smith suggested the jobless in Merthyr Tydfil should get on a bus to Cardiff to find work, Merthyr had 43 people for every job vacancy. Problem was, Cardiff already had nine unemployed people for every job vacancy. The jobs just don't exist. In 2010, there was 1 million more unemployed than there were job vacancies. Benefit cheats are bankrupting the country? IT'S A LIE. Benefit fraud does amount to about £1.5 billion a year. However, £16 billion goes UNCLAIMED every year. Meanwhile, the amount of tax lost through avoidance and evasion is a whopping £120 billion a year. (And don't give me the crap about avoidance being legal, the truth is, it shouldn't be. Not one of the major parties will openly state the real truth. The biggest causes of poverty in this country are lack of jobs, poverty wages and part time work. All the parties have social policies that they KNOW are based upon outright lies, lies that are allowing a whole section of society to be vilified as heartless people cast around to find a victim upon which to blame all this countries woes The money is out there for us all to live comfortably I say lets tax the rich and bring their wealth into public ownership to benefit the many not just the few. With thanks to Sheffield socialist party for the exert on myth busting benefits.