How Much Money Would This Save The Country?

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by RiflemanTom, Apr 9, 2010.

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  1. RiflemanTom

    RiflemanTom Old-Salt Book Reviewer

    Has anyone been to Cuba on holiday?

    In Cuba the tourists must use either a special type of tourist currency, or US Dollars, but not regular Cuban currency. This conversely means that the locals can't just spend the tourist currency, or US dollar's that they recieve in tips from the tourists. They have to go to a state run "supermarket" to exchange them for "luxuries" such as nice soap, shampoo, stereos, food etc. At the end of the day the state makes a profit from this and uses the capital to maintain infrastructure.

    Now wouldn't it be a good idea if we had a similar system for those in the UK on benefits? What if we didn't give them money, but gave them a type of "ration book" which they could use at the state run supermarket? For a start, the state would be buying stock in bulk, which would reduce the cost of the goods and potentially turn a profit for the state. The goods on offer would of course be of the Iceland quality. M&S quality is for the working classes. I.e, if you want better, (or tobacco, booze, etc) get a job, and use your earned cash to pay for it. The ration books would of course be seriald & with your name on it so that you couldn't "flog" vouchers for money.

    The supermarkets would themselves create jobs (shelf stackers, managers, warehouse people etc) taking people off the dole queues. The people on benefits would have to work to recieve the "ration" books, and they would accumulate points for their books by doing community work, such as street cleaning, repairing things, etc in their own locality. This would also have the knock on effect of giving poeple a sense of community and less of a desire to damage public property.

    Your views?
  2. As Facebook says.."Like this" :D
  3. What state run supermarket? What jobs would you create in providing one? How does the state make a profit by giving people money to spend in a state shop? How many people will you put on the dole because their jobs are being done by the unemployed?

    0/10 Fail.
  4. BiscuitsAB

    BiscuitsAB LE Moderator

    Now your talking sense :p
  5. Dont put ideas in Brown's head, its bad enough already having seen an announcement of a "Cadbury's Law" forbidding foreign takeovers of British companies on Newsnight tonight, if Labour are re-elected!!!
  6. RiflemanTom

    RiflemanTom Old-Salt Book Reviewer

    Re Read the post.
  7. I see, the comments mean I didn't read it, how stupid of me.

    0/10 Fail.

    You propose a state run supermarket, that means premises that need paying for, power that needs paying for, staff that need paying for, insurance that needs paying for, losses that need paying for, and you're going to do this more efficiently than Tesco's who don't do anything else?

    Where are you going to get the senior staff for this supermarket? Civil servants who have no idea what to do or are you going to recruit people who do know what to do, where are you going to hire them from and how much more will you have to pay them to get them to move? You will be taking trade from the existing market so what will you do with the redundant employees from the existing supermarkets? What will you do when someone sells a £50 food voucher for £25 so they can spend the cash on fags and booze?
  8. Not a bad idea. We could slowly expand on this and gradually the state could take over ownership of all stores, then businesses. Slowly but surely everyone could become state employees and we could adopt a system whereby we were all socially equal working toward a common purpose.
  9. BiscuitsAB

    BiscuitsAB LE Moderator

    I think thats a great idea, because by the time you've done it I'll be sitting under a tree on my finca.
  10. I thought it was a great idea, then mummy shook me and told me to get up because we're all going to the zoo today for Toby's birthday!
  11. I talked about a similar idea to a friend of mine the other week. It was actually more of a rant about human rights but being objective about it, if a basic human right is access to food then why couldn't the government liase in some way with supermarket businesses more towards the uber budget end of the market? (Aldi/Lidl/Netto) and instead of money benefits paid directly to people claiming state benefit they are issued vouchers redeemable only at these stores and for food/essientials and are useless anywhere else - it'd work a bit like tenancy voucher schemes the likes of B&Q/Homebase do. If you didn't want the social 'stigma' of shuffling around Aldi then do something to change your circumstances otherwise. Similarly, stop giving money directly to tenants for landlords to chase after.

    Perhaps I'm being a bit harsh in reducing all who come to rely on the state to feeling like lesser beings but it could go on a sliding scale, monetary state assistance given say for the first 6 months out of work for every 2 years worked (an idea that has either been brought up here or is implemented abroad) before going on vouchered 'basline quality of life' assistance. Those who don't want to work go right to the basic assistance.

    Basically, make it just about bearable to be on state benefits where you circumstances are accommodated but you've not actually got sufficient hard currency to take the urine and see it as a big enough boot up the arrse to try and improve your lot - they're obviously those who physically can't but I'm thinking more about the out and out able bodied but idle. Perhaps if we took such a hard line towards idleness the country would act like less of a magnet to the imported idle too...
  12. A scheme of this sort for asylum seekers was abandoned in 2002 becuse it was found to be inefficient and bureaucratic. I'm not sure we can afford to add to the size of Government at the moment. It seems to work well for baby formula milk though.

    Or I suppose we could just let Tescos run the country?

  13. If I where PM, I'd make you work and pensions secretary in my cabinet. :D
  14. The UK's Black Economy is alive and very well and running at a cost to the economy of some £40-billion per year.

    But on a lighter note, this is the very reason why all banks have to encourage everyone to have a bank account. It is also the very reason why Cheques are being phased out and was also a very large driver behind Chip & Pin. Deny people the ability to use cash, or variants that work upon it, and they are then faced with having to leave an electronic trace of their expenditure.

    If The Nu Labour project get another term to further implement their regime of State Sponsored Brutality and enforcement of the Communist dream upon us, along with making the power of personal judgement and risk taking illegal, the likes of cash would also soon be outlawed. Communism, Socialism or whatever you want to call it all feed on one thing, other peoples money. However, your idea of an alternative system for the distribution of tax payer money may have some legs if it was to be given a modern and discretionary face.

    One method, although nothing is infallible, would be to issue the money to the benefits recipient by crediting it to pre-paid debit cards. That way the bearer would look no different from anyone else and any restrictions that are necessary could be placed upon the card. i.e. not able to use it to buy things like; booze, fags, ready meals, Mcdonalds, KFC, drugs. Etc. Etc. Etc. You get the picture. If the holder tried to buy any prohibited item them the transaction would be denied.

    We have the means to do this, and linked to modern technologies like Chip & Pin, the phasing out of cheques and with the Post Office soon to run traditional Bank Accounts, electronic benefits would go along way to curb social issues like obesity, alcoholism, smoking and plain and simple fraud. To open an account at the PO the claimant would be required to prove identity, eligibility for claiming and also to be here legally.

    So in plain and simple terms, No Post Office Bank Account would mean no pre-paid debit card which in turn would mean no access to the benefits that are delivered in an efficient and socially concious manner.
  15. Auld-Yin

    Auld-Yin LE Reviewer Book Reviewer Reviews Editor

    You would not be allowed to do this. The 'Liberties without responsibilities' groups would be up in arms saying that we are stigmatising these poor people by making them go to special shops. They should be allowed to buy their bukkie and tabs from normal shops and make profits for Asda n Tescos, not nasty state run places.