Thursday, Nov 12, 2009

At Last: A Headline On Which We Can All Agree!

The Express: WORKSHY BRITAIN: BENEFITS OUT OF CONTROL

THE SHOCKING truth of workshy Britain was laid bare today as figures revealed the number of households receiving benefits worth more than £15,000 a year has doubled under Labour.
Welfare Reform Minister Jim Knight said 1.2 million households were given state handouts in excess of £15,000-a-year in 2007-08, compared with 600,000 a decade before.
And households receiving more than £20,000-a-year trebled from 100,000 in 1997-98 to 300,000 ten years later.

Posted by devo @ 10:57 PM (1845 views)
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35 Comments

1. mark wadsworth said...

They are all complete and abject liars.

When they say "worth £15,000 a year" what they mean is about £10,000 in cash plus £5,000 Housing Benefit/Council Tax Benefit. As most of that HB/CTB goes either a) to the local council (in which case it nets off to nil) or b) to a private landlord (in which case it counts as his income, and helps prop up the house price bubble, which is the whole aim of modern economic policy).

OK, £10,000 is a lot of money for doing b-all, but that's Mum, Dad and a couple of kids. That seems like astoundingly good value to me, seeing as yer average council "CEO" or average MP pays him or herself £200,000 a year, plus gold-plated pension etc etc. And seeing as the average quangocrat gets £30,000 a year just for interfering and meddling.

Why has the benefit culture grown over the last thirty or forty years? It is because the politicians invented this system where people with low earnings potential were better off on welfare than working. It's like the Laffer Curve in reverse. The more conditions you attach to welfare and the more savage your make the means-testing, the more likely it is that people will stay on the dole.

And don't get me started on the hidden £10,000 a year bonus for couples who pretend to live apart or the £5,000 bonus for single women who have two kids outside or wedlock (or not, see first part of sentence).

My motto is, don't blame people who abuse the rules (whether that's the banks, people on welfare, buy-to-let landlords, estate agents and everybody else's pet hates) blame the people who invented the rules that shovel money to these totally unproductive uses, i.e. the Home-Owner-Ists and the MPs.

Rant over.

Thursday, November 12, 2009 11:24PM Report Comment
 

2. dbc reed said...

What Mark Wadsworth said.

Thursday, November 12, 2009 11:30PM Report Comment
 

3. devo said...

guess I was wrong

Thursday, November 12, 2009 11:33PM Report Comment
 

4. devo said...

What do you think of this guy's comment?

IT IS PERFECTLY LEGAL FOR ALL EMPLOYERS AND EMPLOYEES TO AVOID PAYING DIRECT TAXATION.

12.11.09, 7:42pm

That is of course, direct Taxation to Westminster. You will have to pay a much reduced Tax Demand to your local County Council.
What every Business and every Company has to do then, is register at Companies House, as a Holding Company.
As such, you then employ an off-shore Agency to supply all your staff. You then pay the Agency the entire cost, and the Agency pays the staff income and all of the overheads of
the business. The staff, or workforce members, then, only need to inform the HMRC office nearest to their place of residence, explaining that the money remitted to this country is your Tax free allowance. All other living and household costs can then be paid direct from your off-shore account by the Agent and no Taxation can be claimed by Westminster.
You then arrange with your Parish or Town Council to pay a voluntary amount of Public Service Funding to provide the necessary basic services until such time as the NHS., Police, Education and other essential services, are brought under the control of each County Council.
Then again, you, yes you, the Taxpayers, can decide how many MPs each County should have. How many you are prepared to pay for.
Only this time old ****, the changes will be at the behest of the people and especially the Taxpayers.Enough for now,
Regards, ATFlynn, "Norfolk's Mutineer"

Thursday, November 12, 2009 11:36PM Report Comment
 

5. rumble said...

I blame them both. Just 'cos you can screw a system doesn't mean you then have to be a useless parasite.

Friday, November 13, 2009 12:02AM Report Comment
 

6. shipbuilder said...

Our economic system works best for the wealthy and powerful when an scarcity of employment is maintained, it keeps the balance in their favour. Full employment is a red herring and always has been.
So do you have a welfare system for the rest or do you throw them in jail when they turn to alternative means for a living?
Is there too much welfare or is our economic system failing to provide sufficient wages to live on?

Friday, November 13, 2009 12:06AM Report Comment
 

7. devo said...

5. rumble said... I blame them both. Just 'cos you can screw a system doesn't mean you then have to be a useless parasite.

Is it right to blame when they don't know any better?

Can you blame a dog for barking?

Friday, November 13, 2009 12:07AM Report Comment
 

8. shipbuilder said...

Now here's a question - how many paid jobs provide a genuinely socially useful function, and how many are simply a waste of resources, helping to produce stuff we don't really need and need to be tempted (and get into debt) to buy?
I would say that if everyone worked a bit less we would have a lot less problems. Think about it.

Friday, November 13, 2009 12:12AM Report Comment
 

9. devo said...

8. shipbuilder said.. I would say that if everyone worked a bit less we would have a lot less problems. Think about it.

I have, and I agree.

Friday, November 13, 2009 12:14AM Report Comment
 

10. rumble said...

Devo, that is not the same as a dog barking. Unless you are saying that chavs are genetically defunct. If they genuinely do not know any better, then what is their excuse for that?

Friday, November 13, 2009 12:21AM Report Comment
 

11. rumble said...

shipbuider, agreed. Comes back to over-production, communist manifesto, and presumably elsewhere...

Friday, November 13, 2009 12:23AM Report Comment
 

12. devo said...

"what is their excuse for that?"

lack of education

Friday, November 13, 2009 12:24AM Report Comment
 

13. devo said...

"Unless you are saying that chavs are genetically defunct."

For clarity, are you referring to the claimants or the government, rumble?

I was referring to both.

Friday, November 13, 2009 12:31AM Report Comment
 

14. rumble said...

That's an extraordinary lack of education, among other things. Where's the curiosity, interest, drive... anything?

Friday, November 13, 2009 12:34AM Report Comment
 

15. Devo said...

"Where's the curiosity, interest, drive... anything?"

We all become passive without the necessary stimuli.

Friday, November 13, 2009 12:36AM Report Comment
 

16. devo said...

"Where's the curiosity, interest, drive... anything?"

We all become passive without the necessary stimuli.

Friday, November 13, 2009 12:38AM Report Comment
 

17. rumble said...

What, like a kick in the ass? I can't say that describes me. Different note, have you seen this: Baraka

Friday, November 13, 2009 12:46AM Report Comment
 

18. devo said...

16. rumble said... What, like a kick in the ass?

Hmm... not exactly what I had in mind...

Friday, November 13, 2009 12:47AM Report Comment
 

19. devo said...

@rumble

Thanks for the Baraka link.

Friday, November 13, 2009 12:51AM Report Comment
 

20. rumble said...

I can't believe that they don't know any better. What do they think the rest of the country is doing.

Friday, November 13, 2009 12:52AM Report Comment
 

21. devo said...

19. rumble said... I can't believe that they don't know any better. What do they think the rest of the country is doing?

They don't think about it.

Friday, November 13, 2009 12:56AM Report Comment
 

22. rumble said...

They can't think about it?
How can they not? There's nothing to think about. "Gosh! Look at the people this morning. I wonder where they're all going? Oh no, wait, I don't do wondering."

Friday, November 13, 2009 01:01AM Report Comment
 

23. letsgetreadytotumble said...

"1.2 million households were given state handouts in excess of £15,000-a-year"
That's about 15 billion.
Unmarried mother's issues were raised in the House of Commons about 10 years ago and that was costing us 13 billion a year then.
I bet the real total is something like 30 or 40 billion.

Friday, November 13, 2009 04:12AM Report Comment
 

24. devo said...

Off topic

What do you make of this?

Gld ETF Warning, Tungsten Filled Fake Gold Bars
Commodities / Gold & Silver 2009 Nov 12, 2009 - 12:22 PM

By: Rob_Kirby

I’ve already reported on irregular physical gold settlements which occurred in London, England back in the first week of October, 2009. Specifically, these settlements involved the intermediation of at least one Central Bank [The Bank of England] to resolve allocated settlements on behalf of J.P. Morgan and Deutsche Bank – who DID NOT have the gold bullion that they had sold short and were contracted to deliver. At the same time I reported on two other unusual occurrences...

http://www.marketoracle.co.uk/Article14996.html

Friday, November 13, 2009 06:54AM Report Comment
 

25. sold out said...

The benefit culture created in the UK by successive governments must change.
The recent influx of Poles, latvians, estonians etc, etc , so called economic migrants, who have arrived in this country and found work very easily has highlighted the problem.Good Luck to all those hard-working people who have come here, they don't deserve the abuse from the press and some of own citizens.
The benefits system needs a radical overhaul, a life on benefits needs to be as uncomfortable as possible.
Start by issuing food vouchers instead of cash.

Friday, November 13, 2009 07:18AM Report Comment
 

26. the number cruncher said...

The real scroungers in our society are those that own land and property and do not pay tax on it

The shiftless poor are a tiny burden in comparison

This article is just the typical right wing rubbish meant to keep the plebs infighting, while the rich laugh at both the underclass and the working class as they fight each other.

Friday, November 13, 2009 10:50AM Report Comment
 

27. stillthinking said...

That the economy will be rescued by the willingness of the unemployed to take any position isn't true. The economy expands from the expansion of an existing healthy rump i.e. those in work create fresh demand they cannot fill. If the unemployed have no demand, then the unemployed cannot work to meet that demand, asking for growth from the unemployed is attempting to bootstrap the economy in an impossible way.

Friday, November 13, 2009 10:58AM Report Comment
 

28. 51ck-6-51x said...

sold out said, "a life on benefits needs to be as uncomfortable as possible"
- That would be no benefits. Regulations such as minimum wage don't help the situation.

rumble said, "I blame them both. Just 'cos you can screw a system doesn't mean you then have to be a useless parasite."
- No you are right, one doesn't HAVE to, but if one receives more for doing nothing than for doing something the only motive for the later over the former is if the sum of the values one places on being kept occupied and those of any altruistic motives is enough to tip the balance. Neither of these are of high enough value to the selfish individual, which we all are to varying degrees and most are to a high degree. That is why utilising the human trait of selfishness as the base of the system in which we live is the ultimate system ( until we evolve to be less selfish at least! ).

Friday, November 13, 2009 11:12AM Report Comment
 

29. kruador said...

Inflation adjusted?

£15,000 in 1998 had inflated to nearly £20,000 (£19,782.81) in 2008, using the Bank of England's CPI calculator. As we know, CPI is likely an underestimate due to all the fiddling involved. If the price data were not inflation adjusted, I would absolutely expect that more people would fall into a given band now than did 10 years ago!

I'm trying to figure out what table they've based this on. I genuinely can't see it. Table 3.5 shows the break-down of households by composition and total weekly income, and 3.4 the break-down by composition and source of income, but I don't think combining these would give sensible results. Of course a Minister would likely have access to the raw data rather than the summary tables.

Also remember that benefits include child support and state pensions (basic and SERPS). Table 2.15 of the Family Resources Survey shows that 30% of benefits are paid to singles or couples all in full-time employment. Some of that is Working Tax Credit, basically adding income to those who are grossly underpaid, and some is Child Tax Credit, an encouragement to have kids. A further 23% is paid to those where there is no work in the household, where one or more is aged 60 or over (i.e. pensions) - this is 32% of households (table 2.5). Only 3% goes to households where there is no work and one or more is officially unemployed, 6% to those with a disability, and 6% to those who are otherwise inactive.

In fact, if pensioners are included in the income statistics, could it simply be a growth in the demographic of, and payments to, pensioners?

Basically I think the unemployed of working age are being scapegoated here when a great proportion of benefit actually goes to those who have money.

Friday, November 13, 2009 11:43AM Report Comment
 

30. letthemfall said...

At the root of the division of society into economic grades, from the superrich to the underclass on benefits, are the inequalities that society's structure fosters. Who extracts the most from society? The highly paid banker who contributes to the insolvency of his employer, or the long-term benefit claimant? The economically unproductive underclass is trapped in relative poverty, a culture in which no one works, and bad education. It is possible to drag oneself out but needs a level of motivation that is rare in such circumstances.

It may be instructive to compare the US with some of the Nordic states here. The US offers minimum benefits, yet at the same time has a huge underclass, not all of whom are layabouts and criminals - people can end up in tented cities when they lose their job. In high public spending Scandinavia the situation is very different, and their economies do pretty well. Must be a lesson there somewhere.

Friday, November 13, 2009 11:57AM Report Comment
 

31. shipbuilder said...

27. 51ck-6-51x said...
"Neither of these are of high enough value to the selfish individual, which we all are to varying degrees and most are to a high degree. That is why utilising the human trait of selfishness as the base of the system in which we live is the ultimate system ( until we evolve to be less selfish at least! )."

I'm sure i've asked this before, but have you watched the documentary 'The Trap'? A system based on selfishness has been tried and does not work. It is a flawed and false view of human motivation that works in theory only, one that has been repeated so often that it has attained credibility. I don't believe that you actually believe this other than in pure theory.
Altruism happens to a much greater degree than selfishness in our world if you look beyond the narrow world of the western white-collar worker. Measuring the world along the lines of capital and business is completely unnatural.

Friday, November 13, 2009 04:29PM Report Comment
 

32. shipbuilder said...

Isn't it funny when we talk of motivation that the wealthy must be motivated by bonuses while the poor must be motivated by threats?

Friday, November 13, 2009 04:33PM Report Comment
 

33. letthemfall said...

shipbuilder: "Isn't it funny when we talk of motivation.."

Indeed it is.
I agree with you about selfishness - anthropologists often tell us that we are cooperative and social animals, and the further you journey away from the big-money men, into close communities, the less selfishness one observes.
51ck's notion of capitalist hippiedom (state-free, man, and every man for himself) strikes me as a sure route to dystopia, in which the poor are poor because they are viewed inferior. Ultimate system? No such thing.

Friday, November 13, 2009 05:30PM Report Comment
 

34. devo said...

27. 51ck-6-51x said... Utilising the human trait of selfishness as the base of the system in which we live is the ultimate system ( until we evolve to be less selfish at least! )

Would you describe yourself as more or less selfish than the average, 51ck?

Friday, November 13, 2009 08:44PM Report Comment
 

35. 51ck-6-51x said...

Playing catch-up.

1. Ship, no I have not seen 'The Trap' will look out for it.
2. I do not deny that altruistic behaviour exists, far from it but I do assert that I believe that if we base the system on expecting selfish behaviour there is nothing stopping altruistic actions. - I tip a taxi driver in London even though I am not contractually obliged to and I do not expect to use his services again, I give to charity even though I do not use their services and almost certainly do not expect to.

letthemfall
- Social behaviour has developed via an optimisation algorithm through genetics because it serves the individual interests.

devo - I don't think very many individuals apart from those at the extremes can say with much accuracy where they would fit on that spectrum. I'd place myself somewhere near the median. Of course as per my answer to letthemfall one would appear far more altruistic if one sticks closer to their social group!

Monday, November 16, 2009 01:47PM Report Comment
 

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