Jump to content
House Price Crash Forum
Sign in to follow this  
Bora Horza

Frank Field's Welfare Reform Proposals

Recommended Posts

We've had a discussion on CI and Universal credit but what do people feel about Frank Field's ideas?

His main idea seems to be to replace the Government welfare system with a mutual system.

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2013/oct/29/frank-fields-welfare-contribution-plan

http://www.frankfield.co.uk/latest-news/press-releases/news.aspx?p=102559

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think Frank Field's ideas are some of the most intellectually coherent I've seen on reforming the unsustainable welfare state. If I recall correctly, he was the first person to advocate treating benefits as a means of negative taxation. I wouldn't say the fact that the implementation was muffed by Gordon Brown was Field's fault.

However I see some issues with Field's plan as mentioned in the links:

1) Like it or not, these mutuals will be too big to fail. The expectation that the government will back them if they fail will be so great they may as well be explicitly backed by the government, which partially undermines the idea of separate funds for pensions, certain benefits and the NHS.

2) Regarding an NHS mutual health insurance : Field's policy of a minimum of 10 years residency (and presumably contributions) before entitlement wouldn't change the NHS's financial situation significantly. The bulk of healthcare spending is on those over the age of 50.

Contribution based pensions, unemployment and sick benefits (as opposed to disablity benefits) make sense though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We've had a discussion on CI and Universal credit but what do people feel about Frank Field's ideas?

His main idea seems to be to replace the Government welfare system with a mutual system.

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2013/oct/29/frank-fields-welfare-contribution-plan

http://www.frankfield.co.uk/latest-news/press-releases/news.aspx?p=102559

Some interesting ideas but I'm not sure how they would work.

His basic idea seems to be to change over to a contributory benefits system with benefits linked to contributions made. Although this is a sensible idea I'm not sure how you deal with the fact that the people who take the most out of the system have generally put the least into it, quite simply is he really advocating slashing benefits for single mothers? If not then in what way would the new system deliver.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Some interesting ideas but I'm not sure how they would work.

His basic idea seems to be to change over to a contributory benefits system with benefits linked to contributions made. Although this is a sensible idea I'm not sure how you deal with the fact that the people who take the most out of the system have generally put the least into it, quite simply is he really advocating slashing benefits for single mothers? If not then in what way would the new system deliver.

Yes he is.No MP understands welfare as well as him.The mutual model existed before the welfare state.Every area had some form of welfare.The difference was because it was a local insurance people paid in and saw who was taking out.So say a womans husband died and she had 2 children,locals saw that as what the insurance was for,,young girls has 2 children while claiming then another one,not good.It worked very well until the state got involved.

Hes wanting to go back to that sort of model but on a much larger scale.Frank understands that means testing is what drives and traps the poor.Hes on the right lines here.

The problem he has is the poverty industry and the left will fight all the way to keep making sure poor people have benefits to make sure they ruin their lives.Cruel to be kind doesn't fit in with their ideas.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Right idea, but not far enough. These mutuals have to be voluntary or it is just taxation by a different name.

There were healthcare mutuals before the NHS, until state funding for 'free' health care killed them off. They were even priced relative to income and people still voluntarily paid in.

Voluntary systems transcend borders. They don't want or need the state to be involved. With such systems in place, much of the big brother state is not needed - why worry about who is coming or going, where people are from etc, when they just pay subs anyway?

Tight borders and heavy state involvement in everyone's lives has not only failed, but it is also tyrannical. Time to move on to something else.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The problem he has is the poverty industry and the left will fight all the way to keep making sure poor people have benefits to make sure they ruin their lives.Cruel to be kind doesn't fit in with their ideas.

Seems to be a recurring theme, people can see the problem and can devise a solution but there are too many vested interests blocking change.

How do we force any new system through?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Seems to be a recurring theme, people can see the problem and can devise a solution but there are too many vested interests blocking change.

How do we force any new system through?

You don't really that's the problem.It would be easier if benefits were much lower than they are.They probably need to reform first what we have,and by reform I mean cut the parts that drive behaviour.

Frank knows too many in his party wont accept that benefits long term trap the poor.He also knows without serious reform a right wing government would one day dismantle welfare and the working class would give them the mandate.

He also knows the job is now 100s of times harder thanks to Brown.

Labour cant win an election unless the public trust them to change on welfare and accept a lot of what Frank is saying.

Ironic though that as Rachel Reeves gets shadow Work and Pensions Frank steps up.She is another Labour MP who has no understanding of welfare,she should shack up with IDS.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You don't really that's the problem.It would be easier if benefits were much lower than they are.They probably need to reform first what we have,and by reform I mean cut the parts that drive behaviour.

Can't see how that's going to happen when the state funded media portrays every attempt at change as an attack on the poor.

Labour cant win an election unless the public trust them to change on welfare and accept a lot of what Frank is saying.

Problem is that they can.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes he is.No MP understands welfare as well as him.The mutual model existed before the welfare state.Every area had some form of welfare.The difference was because it was a local insurance people paid in and saw who was taking out.So say a womans husband died and she had 2 children,locals saw that as what the insurance was for,,young girls has 2 children while claiming then another one,not good.It worked very well until the state got involved.

Hes wanting to go back to that sort of model but on a much larger scale.Frank understands that means testing is what drives and traps the poor.Hes on the right lines here.

The problem he has is the poverty industry and the left will fight all the way to keep making sure poor people have benefits to make sure they ruin their lives.Cruel to be kind doesn't fit in with their ideas.

But the article says "The government would pay for those too poor to do so". How is this any different from the current system where the government pays the poor benefits because their income/savings are not enough. If the government is paying the poor's contribution (presumably by poor they mean those that don't work and live on benefits as those that have genuinely been working and fallen on hard times) then it is still a case of something for nothing, no?

Edited by fru-gal

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Working Tax credits, UC, and CI are different ways of sharing money out that comes from the same pot. Frank's mutual proposals changes where the pot of money is coming from and who manages it, and as a result is far more of a fundamental change.

Reading through the report, a lot of what he says makes good sense, and I think it's hard to argue against the following:

fiscal reality where the aim must be to pitch public spending no higher than 40 per cent of GDP; it is necessary for a moral economy, one where people justly reap the rewards of their labour in a ‘something for something society

Further on in his report:

...that western economies must reduce public spending ratios to no more than 40 per cent of GDP and aim for a figure nearer 35 per cent if they are to compete globally and meet popular aspirations.

... then it is still a case of something for nothing, no?

Not to the same extent as today's system, if you haven't contributed you'd only receive the bare minimum. For youths the following would apply:

...with youths, who experience unemployment early in their career, becoming eligible on their parents’ insurance record or the insurance record of other close members of the family.

Which would help break intergenerational unemployment, although I'd be curious to see some figures on how this would works in practice. (although I'm sceptical of how common this, for political purposes I think it's been over-stated by the Government).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It also seems that unemployment benefits would be time-limited:

...The new scheme would pay benefit at twice the current level of means tested jobseekers allowance for the first six months and then at the current JSA rate for a further six months.

And nothing thereafter? I'm not sure that's practical given the current unemployment rates.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What we learned from the CI debate was that you can't really discuss welfare in isolation from the rest of the economy and the wider world. The reality is that we have multiple forms of welfare in the UK- and they interact in unexpected ways.

For example the welfare benefits enjoyed by land owners in the form of farming subsidies allow a small number of people to hoard vast amounts of land- without such subsidies they might be forced to sell some of it to housing developers increasing the supply of homes and taking some pressure off the housing benefit bill.

We also have the welfare designed to help out the banks in the form of QE and Zirp- with the side effect that the cost of living escalates for the poor who then need more support.

The reality is that the soaring benefits bill is the thermostat that measures the health of the wider economy- it cannot be treated in isolation but this is exactly what people like Fields and IDS try to do- because to try to really address the situation would step on the toes of too many vested interests.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What we learned from the CI debate was that you can't really discuss welfare in isolation from the rest of the economy and the wider world. The reality is that we have multiple forms of welfare in the UK- and they interact in unexpected ways.

For example the welfare benefits enjoyed by land owners in the form of farming subsidies allow a small number of people to hoard vast amounts of land- without such subsidies they might be forced to sell some of it to housing developers increasing the supply of homes and taking some pressure off the housing benefit bill.

We also have the welfare designed to help out the banks in the form of QE and Zirp- with the side effect that the cost of living escalates for the poor who then need more support.

The reality is that the soaring benefits bill is the thermostat that measures the health of the wider economy- it cannot be treated in isolation but this is exactly what people like Fields and IDS try to do- because to try to really address the situation would step on the toes of too many vested interests.

I agree with that but I don't think you can blame Frank or anyone for it.Welfare reform does need to take in other areas as well but reform needs to start with the claim itself.

Im not sure soaring welfare bills are always a result of the wider economy.Brown changed that.It was always the case welfare spending fell as recovery took hold but a very large part of welfare spending is now driven by behaviour,not the economy.

What Frank is mainly aiming at is putting contribution back at the heart of welfare and also making the family the first port of call before the state.

What saw welfare explode was taking away from the extended family the cost of looking after family members.Frank knows this was a huge social and economic mistake and wants to go back to that.

It might sound harsh, but if parents know that if their daughter/son has children with no income they would be expected to provide for them before the state it will change behaviour,.

I doubt the left will buy it though as they have spent 50 years trying to destroy the nuclear family.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree with that but I don't think you can blame Frank or anyone for it.Welfare reform does need to take in other areas as well but reform needs to start with the claim itself.

Im not sure soaring welfare bills are always a result of the wider economy.Brown changed that.It was always the case welfare spending fell as recovery took hold but a very large part of welfare spending is now driven by behaviour,not the economy.

What Frank is mainly aiming at is putting contribution back at the heart of welfare and also making the family the first port of call before the state.

What saw welfare explode was taking away from the extended family the cost of looking after family members.Frank knows this was a huge social and economic mistake and wants to go back to that.

It might sound harsh, but if parents know that if their daughter/son has children with no income they would be expected to provide for them before the state it will change behaviour,.

I doubt the left will buy it though as they have spent 50 years trying to destroy the nuclear family.

What I blame both Fields and IDS for is attempting to leverage the mob mentality as a way to get the job done- instead of relying on the intellectual weight of their arguments. If the system is flawed then blame the people who created it and maintain it- not the people who use it and depend upon it.

But both in their different ways take the easy path of slagging off the users of the system in the hope that the resulting heat will fuel their projects- a sleazy, obnoxious and lazy way to seek change- and in my view self defeating because the debate then gets derailed into a bog of moral finger pointing and scapegoating.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Some interesting ideas but I'm not sure how they would work.

His basic idea seems to be to change over to a contributory benefits system with benefits linked to contributions made. Although this is a sensible idea I'm not sure how you deal with the fact that the people who take the most out of the system have generally put the least into it, quite simply is he really advocating slashing benefits for single mothers? If not then in what way would the new system deliver.

Well its a load of crap isn't it. Basically those that receive most working welfare are those that haven't paid anything in ( that's the way it is and the way it will always be). How are the Shannon Matthews of this world supposed to get their welfare fix for mothering seven kids by five different fathers and also support her £100+ per week sixty a day smoking habit.

Possibly the best way to reform welfare is cut down on eligibility.........19 million out of 26 million households get welfare. A bit of sour grapes because we are one of 7 million that doesn't. I can take the fact that Shannon Matthews spends more on her cigarettes than I spend on my half share of living expenses with my partner including council tax, there will be always hopeless cases. But maybe we should rethink this welfare for everybody policy, even some of the top ten percent have their snouts in the trough, be it returned in taxation with interest.

Edited by crashmonitor

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ironic though that as Rachel Reeves gets shadow Work and Pensions Frank steps up.She is another Labour MP who has no understanding of welfare,she should shack up with IDS.

Ms Reeves was mention in a Bagehot colum in the last weeks Economist:

http://www.economist.com/news/britain/21588852-labours-welfare-policy-becoming-more-competitive-more-tough-less-love

'She absorbed every sorry detail—running her forefinger along lines of tedious official correspondence as she read—and dutifully agreed to make official representations. But she promised her petitioners no relief; nor, in most cases, did she think any was due. The man in search of housing benefit for his estranged wife had mentioned that she part-owned a house, Ms Reynolds noted. A man requesting disability benefit had walked into the room easily enough. Since entering Parliament in 2010, the MP has wised up. To her zeal for social justice she has added a recognition that the welfare system is too often abused: “You see some people who are not doing anything, they’re taking us for a ride, basically.” Perhaps not coincidentally, she also knows this makes her constituents livid.'

Not sure who'll she run into this time.

Frank Fields problem was Idiot Broon who was hell bent on creating massive client state to vote him in forever.

Durham's right to point out the disconnect between benfit payment and the economy; Broon has turned the bottom 20% into a totally dependent cabbage.

It'll take some undoing.

Welfare, like all money, is very finite.

Misunderstand that - like Broon - and you'll fail.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Welfare, like all money, is very finite.

Misunderstand that - like Broon - and you'll fail.

Indeed I'm sure Brown saw welfare spending as one of his key investments in UK plc. It certainly flattered growth figures.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • The Prime Minister stated that there were three Brexit options available to the UK:   210 members have voted

    1. 1. Which of the Prime Minister's options would you choose?


      • Leave with the negotiated deal
      • Remain
      • Leave with no deal

    Please sign in or register to vote in this poll. View topic


×

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.