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9Pm Bbc 2, Tonight, The Future State Of Welfare

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Humphrys concludes that the public don't like what they see as a growing sense of entitlement among some groups claiming benefits, and politicians respond to the public mood. He argues that there is strong consensus across political divides, and that reform would edge the UK back towards the original Beveridge vision of welfare.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b016ltsh

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Guest eight

Humphrys concludes that the public don't like what they see as a growing sense of entitlement among some groups claiming benefits, and politicians respond to the public mood. He argues that there is strong consensus across political divides, and that reform would edge the UK back towards the original Beveridge vision of welfare.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b016ltsh

There was a piece on BBC Look North last night about a family from Newcastle (parents, 2 kids, baby, one on way) who claimed to be unable to survive on £490 benefits a week.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0070g1d - First story, looks like you've got till tonight to watch it. Probably deserves a thread of its own.

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Guest eight

Thanks, will watch this...

£490 a WEEK benefit? I ASSUME this included housing costs...............!?

They weren't specific.

I actually thought of you as I was watching it! Nearly turned to the missus and said "Guitarman would go mental if he was watching this." Imagine how confused she would have been....

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It's my birthday today (halfway to 54!!) and I've been told by the girlfriend that my birthday resolution should be to stop complaining more and perhaps look for opportunity, a more positive outlook. Can't have that if you don't know the negatives, I said to her... lol....

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Guest eight

I also thought it coincidental that they ran this story the day we decided to give the banking system 1000 billion euros, I should add.

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Humphrys concludes that the public don't like what they see as a growing sense of entitlement among some groups claiming benefits, and politicians respond to the public mood. He argues that there is strong consensus across political divides, and that reform would edge the UK back towards the original Beveridge vision of welfare.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b016ltsh

Some sort of real reform will only IMO come when even Labour see it as a vote-winner.

While I have every sympathy for anyone who genuinely wants to work and can't find a job, I don't understand why NEETs in particular are apparently still allowed to turn down jobs they could do, because they're 'boring' or 'I'm not working for minimum wage'.

If people have no skills, experience or track record (even in turning up on time), and often poor or no educational qualifications, who on earth is going to offer them any more? Everybody has to start somewhere.

Reasonably intelligent, reasonably educated daughter of someone I know hardly ever worked from the time she left school, even before she had a baby in mid 20s, and was apparently allowed to turn down offers of work or training for ages because 'I only want to work with animals.'

And this was at a time (in London) when anyone who really wanted a job could easily find one.

The really sad thing is that once she was in her 30s and her child was at school, she finally realized that if things were ever going to get better it was down to her, she'd wasted years of opportunity that were never going to come back, nobody was ever going to knock on the door with the perfect, interesting job paying reasonable money.

And she's now very anxious that her child should not make the same mistakes.

Incidentally she has a brother with a very similar history, and there must be masses more.

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I'm hoping that it will include some thinking about how to get the disabled access to work. Members of my own group (for a neurological disease) would love to work but due to little public transport that they can use (London still doesn't have disabled access to most tube lines), employers who don't want to hire us (I know what that is like), no automatic access to job shares or hours we can work (they just won't hire us and accomodate jobs) and work we could do at home, these people are doomed to living in poverty with no hope of an improvement in the future.

It's such a waste and so much could be done to help our disabled group.

Even changing the NHS so that people can work and get medical treatment would be a step forward for us. So many wasted afternoons in hospitals. I keep getting told the NHS is rationed. If that is the case we need to decide who to spend the money on. Why do we have so many people who cannot work due to ill health - yet we have a NHS that in my group people have to fight to get treatment our fellow disabled get abroad. Joining up NHS treatment to giving people the ability to work could maybe be a priority.

Better systems for determining who is actually disabled and entitled to benefits would help. ATOS offers such poor value for money and it's public money after all.

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I'm hoping that it will include some thinking about how to get the disabled access to work. Members of my own group (for a neurological disease) would love to work but due to little public transport that they can use (London still doesn't have disabled access to most tube lines), employers who don't want to hire us (I know what that is like), no automatic access to job shares or hours we can work (they just won't hire us and accomodate jobs) and work we could do at home, these people are doomed to living in poverty with no hope of an improvement in the future.

It's such a waste and so much could be done to help our disabled group.

Even changing the NHS so that people can work and get medical treatment would be a step forward for us. So many wasted afternoons in hospitals. I keep getting told the NHS is rationed. If that is the case we need to decide who to spend the money on. Why do we have so many people who cannot work due to ill health - yet we have a NHS that in my group people have to fight to get treatment our fellow disabled get abroad. Joining up NHS treatment to giving people the ability to work could maybe be a priority.

Better systems for determining who is actually disabled and entitled to benefits would help. ATOS offers such poor value for money and it's public money after all.

You have my sympathy there.

Regular HPC readers will know something of my history, including that I spent some time in absolute poverty in 2002/3. What led me there was a failure of my own business, in which I was trying hard to make life easier for a range of disabled people (specifically by ensuring that advances in communications technology work for them - working more easily from home being one important consequence of that) and make a business of it. Noone had a budget for that kind of thing, so it was only by abandoning that work that I was able to start making a living after my savings had run out :angry:

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I'm hoping that it will include some thinking about how to get the disabled access to work. Members of my own group (for a neurological disease) would love to work but due to little public transport that they can use (London still doesn't have disabled access to most tube lines), employers who don't want to hire us (I know what that is like), no automatic access to job shares or hours we can work (they just won't hire us and accomodate jobs) and work we could do at home, these people are doomed to living in poverty with no hope of an improvement in the future.

It's such a waste and so much could be done to help our disabled group.

Even changing the NHS so that people can work and get medical treatment would be a step forward for us. So many wasted afternoons in hospitals. I keep getting told the NHS is rationed. If that is the case we need to decide who to spend the money on. Why do we have so many people who cannot work due to ill health - yet we have a NHS that in my group people have to fight to get treatment our fellow disabled get abroad. Joining up NHS treatment to giving people the ability to work could maybe be a priority.

Better systems for determining who is actually disabled and entitled to benefits would help. ATOS offers such poor value for money and it's public money after all.

I have a great deal of sympathy for people in this group. Neurological diseases such as MS are the real disabled IMO and as such should always receive government support. Some people with such illnesses can work and usually want to work but it is the governments own employment policies which invariably ensure that sufferers will never find work. These employment laws more or less state that an employer cannot fire someone for being disabled and needing to take time off work and therefore hiring someone with a permanently debilitating illness, that could very well get much worse, could mean that they end up having to pay someone who can never come to work should their condition deteriorate.

Perhaps some kind of opt out clause (or make everyone opt out) in this part of employment law would help disabled people who want to work find jobs. Support when unable to work should be government funded not employer. What is your opinion on this if you don't mind me asking?

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I think it's right to raise the minimum wage, perhaps as high as £10/hr progressively over a few years, but the flip side of that coin is that it's work or starve for able-bodied people of working age. The money saved not paying benefits can be recycled as tax cuts to employers to help them pay the higher min wage, eg cancel NI contribs and cancel business rates and cut corporation tax somewhat.

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Sine270

Members of my disabled group find that employers are pretty good at forcing them out of work when they want to. Bullying, intimidation, making them feel guilty and worthless seems to be some of the most popular methods used.

There is a lack of engagement on accommodating for their disability or illness. I was myself bullied until I quit a job. They refused to follow their own company procedures on how to deal with disabled and bullied employees. The legal advice to me was not to take it to a tribunal. The health of genuinely sick and disabled people makes this a hard option. It was too hard for me. The current "protection" for the disabled in employment lacks real teeth.

Plenty of our members are being harrassed out of their jobs or pensioned off early (the later being very hard to get in my experience).

I support myself as I have skills that can be used to work at home and I can also get to an office sometimes if I need to. If someone has to give up work then they always hope again that they can get a job. They don't understand just how many barriers will be placed in front of them.

The best thing I think would be better public transport for disabled, better health / social services for working age people, more employees signing up for guaranteed interviews for suitably qualified disabled people, guaranteed job shares, better protection against harassment, more part time jobs for the disabled.

If people are off sick a lot through a disabling illness then the NHS really needs to be overhauled so that these people can be treated better in many cases (i.e,, waiting lists or access to experimental treatment or new things). In the neurological area we simply do not have enough neurologists trained in the NHS.

This may also be covered by insurance but I have found that our members have any enormous battle to get paid out of insurance that covers loss of employment for ill health. This can take years if at all.

There is a lot we could be doing to get disabled people back into work and many disabled who would love to work.

Edited by Flopsy

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Prison cost £38,00 pa per prisoner. If you cut off the dole, the crime rate goes up. The government long ago decided :

a) to keep a permanent level of unemployment in order to keep wages down.

B) that it's cheaper to keep the chosen unemployed on the dole rather than in prison.

I can't see the logic has changed, so I conclude it's all just media hype. Carrots for the bankers, sticks for the poor.

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Sine270

Members of my disabled group find that employers are pretty good at forcing them out of work when they want to. Bullying, intimidation, making them feel guilty and worthless seems to be some of the most popular methods used.

There is a lack of engagement on accommodating for their disability or illness. I was myself bullied until I quit a job.

If it's any reassurance, that's not limited to disabled people. It can happen to anyone. It's arguably worst if you're an able-bodied, white male, as then the employer is not at risk of ending up on the wrong side of discrimination law, pretty-much no matter how unreasonably they're acting.

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Humphrys concludes that the public don't like what they see as a growing sense of entitlement among some groups claiming benefits, and politicians respond to the public mood. He argues that there is strong consensus across political divides, and that reform would edge the UK back towards the original Beveridge vision of welfare.

I don't think the original Beveridge version was formulated to handle globalisation, mass immigration, and youth unemployment levels running at 20%+

Just a thought.

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Prison cost £38,00 pa per prisoner. If you cut off the dole, the crime rate goes up. The government long ago decided :

a) to keep a permanent level of unemployment in order to keep wages down.

B) that it's cheaper to keep the chosen unemployed on the dole rather than in prison.

I can't see the logic has changed, so I conclude it's all just media hype. Carrots for the bankers, sticks for the poor.

The Americans run their prisons at a profit. We could learn from that. ;)

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The Americans run their prisons at a profit. We could learn from that. ;)

the americans have a higher prison population per 100 than china.

the bulk of which are for victimless offences which are not proper crimes such as drug related offences.

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I don't think the original Beveridge version was formulated to handle globalisation, mass immigration, and youth unemployment levels running at 20%+

Just a thought.

Correct

Add in the massive advances in Technology since then and we have a problem.

We were told years ago that the leisure age was to come and we would only have to work a few days a week. Well since then the working week has only ever been cut by 1 hour in 1980. If anything for many the working week seems to have gone up not down , unpaid overtime has creeped in more and more for the lucky that do have jobs.

Like the debt mountain that was ignored so has the lack of work problem been ignored . There was a time when govenment seemed to accept the situation and without saying anything encouraged people to live without work i.e. single mums were engouraged and many on the dole were sidelined onto the sick .

Now the govenment debt problem has kicked off they need to cut somewhere and lay the blame somewhere , at present the unemployed , the sick and the neets are the target.

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And if you're a pensioner in receipt of pension credits who MEW'ed to buy a new kitchen,bathroom and conservatory the government will pay the interest on this second mortgage until you die.

Declaration of Interest: DLA refused despite not being able to leave the house without a wheelchair.

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Thanks Porca Miseria, for trying to make a difference! I didn't know your history before now. Really sympathise.

+++

As we all get older, start falling to pieces and are forced to work longer this topic is something we are going to have to face as a nation. The plight of people who want to work but can't because of restrictions on their health/employers attitudes etc is going to increase over time as we have an ageing population.

While we are young and healthy it may not matter that there is a culture of permanent 40 hours + week jobs and at an office. What happens when we finally through age cannot do this but are forced to work to avoid poverty or simply still want to work?

As mortgages get longer (to stay on topic for this forum) we may need to work longer to pay off a house. Some of us may never get to own our own home due to current problems.

Edited by Flopsy

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Correct

Add in the massive advances in Technology since then and we have a problem.

We were told years ago that the leisure age was to come and we would only have to work a few days a week. Well since then the working week has only ever been cut by 1 hour in 1980. If anything for many the working week seems to have gone up not down , unpaid overtime has creeped in more and more for the lucky that do have jobs.

Like the debt mountain that was ignored so has the lack of work problem been ignored . There was a time when govenment seemed to accept the situation and without saying anything encouraged people to live without work i.e. single mums were engouraged and many on the dole were sidelined onto the sick .

Now the govenment debt problem has kicked off they need to cut somewhere and lay the blame somewhere , at present the unemployed , the sick and the neets are the target.

I don't think there was really a conscious decision by the government to promote welfarism. It was partly due to wooly thinking liberals (the Woy Jenkins reforms of '68) but mainly just due to the vast bureaucracy of the welfare state run by people with very little financial accountability. The system is only changing now because it is broken beyond repair.

IMO a return to Beveridge's original ideas would be a better way of coping with the problems the UK faces. A slimmed down welfare state providing a very basic, contributory safety net to cover food, clothing, shelter and necessary medical care (no sex changes on the NHS etc). I just hope this is what happens rather than a total bust of the system.

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Guest eight

the americans have a higher prison population per 100 than china.

the bulk of which are for victimless offences

Like punching somebody in the dark?

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no automatic access to job shares or hours we can work (they just won't hire us and accomodate jobs) and work we could do at home

With no offence intended, from a purely business perspective, why would a company hire someone who needed special treatment/allowances/facilities when they can hire someone who doesn't for the same price?

If disabled people want equality, they have to accept they can't get special treatment. That's what equality is. If you can do the job better/cheaper than someone who isn't disabled then the benfit of hiring you may outweigh the disadvantages of, for example, having to pay for adapted equipment etc.

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  • 284 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

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