Neue Arbeit effectively is effectively buying votes

I've been basically saying this for a while now - that they're trying to get as many people in their pockets as possible through benefits and public sector employment...
Labour creates a nation of supplicants
By David Green
(Filed: 01/02/2005)

The term "malingering" fell into disuse for a few years, but it is making an unexpected comeback now that Tony Blair has acknowledged that more than a million of the 2.7 million people claiming incapacity benefit are capable of working. The Government has plans to get them back to work by cutting the benefit from about £74 a week to £56. The Conservatives have done their homework and yesterday came up with a carefully costed alternative, whereby charities and volunteers could help claimants back to work. But the Prime Minister is unlikely to lose much sleep over it: he is quite content for Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition to play the political game by worrying about the affordability of policy proposals. His only concern is: "Will my plan help us win the election?"

As times goes on, we can see the true character of New Labour more clearly. Since taking office, the Government has produced a catalogue of incompetence in various areas of national life: law and order, immigration, school standards and university admission. But, above all, it has been guilty of subordinating policy to ruthless political opportunism. Its welfare reforms are a case in point. Labour came into office talking of benefits as a springboard into work, not a mere safety net; but all that was quickly forgotten as partisan calculations were made about votes.

The Government has, quite simply, set out to use its power to

create client groups in the population, loyal to one party. Some of these groups look to Labour for their income, or enough of it to make them think twice about voting for a rival party that celebrates self-reliance. Others are ideological allies whose loyalty is rewarded with public-sector jobs. Labour's penchant for multiculturalism,

for example, has led to a proliferation of jobs designed to ensure the proportionate representation of ethnic minorities in the workplace, and to stamp out the illicit practices of the hegemonic white middle class, such as its fondness for guided walks in the Lake District. The strategy of creating interest groups beholden to Labour has increased public-sector employment by some 10 per cent since 1998. With nearly 5.5 million employees, the public sector now accounts for almost one in every five jobs (or non-jobs); more than half a million have been created in the past seven years.

The Government has also increased the number of people on benefits generally. There are now more people on benefits than during the first full year of Labour rule. Indeed, the number on what are termed "key benefits" has increased from six million in November 1998 to 6.6 million in December 2004. Of course, Labour has tried to hide what is happening by renaming a major benefit a "tax credit", but the trend is unmistakable.

How does this compare with recent history? In 1951, less than four per cent of the population received national assistance or unemployment benefit. In 1971, it was still only eight per cent. In 2004, the proportion of the working-age population dependent on key benefits was 18 per cent. According to the Government's Family Resources Survey, 30 per cent of households received half or more of their income from the state in 2002-03. Among households over pension age, the proportion was 60 per cent. The real story is that we have taken huge strides on the road to becoming a nation of supplicants.

Admittedly, Gordon Brown knows that you have to produce income before you can tax it. But he has combined his desire for more GDP with a strong liking for levelling. In a knowledge-based economy, the more skilled people in the workforce the better. So far so good, but it does not follow that half our young people should go to university, and it most certainly does not follow that places be allocated according to postcode. Moreover, if these universities offer too many degrees in golf-course management or media studies, we may find that our GDP does not grow quite so rapidly as that of China or India.

Mr Brown's working tax credit reflects a different blend of egalitarianism and crude vote-buying. To be in work implies earning an income sufficient to support your family and to pay your share of taxes. But many of the people drawn into work by the Government's policies are not making a net contribution to the economy. They receive more in benefits than they earn, and far more than they pay in taxes.

For example, a lone parent with one child under 11, paying £40 a week for child care and on the minimum wage of £4.85 per hour, would earn £77.60 from 16 hours' work. After benefits, his or her total weekly income would be £257.35. A married couple, also with one child under 11 and doing their own child care, would have to put in 47 hours' work a week at the same hourly rate to take home as much. About a third of more than a million lone parents receiving working tax credit work part time for only 16-20 hours a week and have their income made up to the equivalent of a full-time pay packet. The Government is pleased with itself for getting them into work and off income support - but the real challenge is to give people the self-respect that comes only from being self-sufficient.

Some Conservatives still talk as if they are in government, fussing about the administrative complexities of incapacity benefit. Meanwhile, the Government is entrenching the Labour vote, using public-sector funds to buy votes in a manner that would have embarrassed the 18th century. If the Tories are sensible, they will make more of this. Apart from mounting evidence of incompetence, the Government's Achilles' heel may be its embarrassingly naked appeal to self-interest. It has replaced our political tradition of liberty with a vision of equalised citizens whose pocket money is guaranteed by the state. But history suggests that Britons don't much care for politicians who think they can be bought so cheaply. The Tories should stop trying to prove that their policies are "fully costed", and instead attack the shallowness of New Labour's idealism

David Green is director of Civitas, an independent think tank
I'm pretty shocked that someone from Civitas would write this, since they were the biggest cheerleaders for Neue Arbeit and a main supporter of the welfare state.

Can we assume that even leftie-liberals can see the light????
excellent article that highlights the undeniable stench around labours public sector/unemployment/disability accounting practices

Bread and Circuses. Somebody in NuLab has been reading their history, vast numbers of employed clients, handouts of bread and lowbrow public entertainment were the way to retain power back in Rome and they still are. :evil:
Bladensburg said:
Bread and Circuses. Somebody in NuLab has been reading their history, vast numbers of employed clients, handouts of bread and lowbrow public entertainment were the way to retain power back in Rome and they still are. :evil:
I don't think that this worked out too well for the Romans in the end though? Still it's nice to know that the collapse of civilisation as we know it and a new dark age might be just around the corner. Might be worth waiting around for :cry:
LOL you think that it new do you? i have not reaad the full article but my take on it is:-

you used to be able to do 16 hours paid work IF your doctor thought it would be therapeutic to your recoverywhilst in receipt of Incapacity benefit. in 2001 Labour party changed the rules so not as many people would be allegible for making it only 'social'' and approved employers could maintain this scheme.

Also incapacity benefit has always been taxable, if you are living and receiving housing or council tax benefits, it will affect your payments of them.
So basically if you are on IB and live in a council house the chances are very high indeed that it will take you over the earnings threshold , you will have to pay approx 85p in the £ in total to the local council in deductions from your benefits,
But say you have another income coming into your home and are not entitled to any council/housing benefits, you get to keep all of the 16 hours money. so the they can say does not effect you and you can get extra income is basically olblcoks rearrange spelling to your make your own word.
Braed and Circuses served Rome for five or six centuries. It wasn't until a new, morality based, system arrived (Christianity) that things really started to go down hill. Yes, you could argue that corruption and patronage destroyed the Republic, but Roman civilisation survived for five centuries afterwards under an Imperial system that made those vices into virtues.
I have mentioned before that I quite often have a drink with a Yank, former Wall Street Trader made his mill or so and retired in his early 40s.
The Great Khan sits on his left side which I think explains the guys politics.
His mother is Brit/English and he visits UK frequently.
Board members would luv ta hear his views on the UK solcial system and when he tells the tale of how he sat in a south east pub Eastbourne (?) and listened to the tales of D Day, that is the DOLE Day warriors recounting their struggles to obtain the rightful inheritance from the state villains of the Social ya'd join him and weep.
I learned all this years ago when as a young squaddei I would get regular breifings on how to mazimize from The Social when I came back to the fold and became a true citizen again.

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