You Cam not be serious…
A tennis-themed joke for the start of Wimbledon? We do our best to be topical.
On an almost daily basis, you will find stories in the news that could easily be April Fools gags, were they not painfully unfunny. It was incredibly hardwork deciphering what was fact from what was fiction this April 1 (maybe we are not that topical).
Today’s joke is the prime minister’s plan to end housing benefit payments for the under-25s. In his world, it is probably possible for children to live with their parents in their five-bedroom quasi-mansions until they are 26, but in reality the majority of people in this country do not have that luxury.
Some don’t even have contact with their parents, and even if they do they could not possibly live as a couple (it is all about relationships with the Tories) in their mam’s two-up-two-down (which is more than likely rented off a housing association or private landlord).
According to David, people can currently just tip up at their local council and get housing benefit ‘just like that’. I have been on the dole and in a position where I required housing benefit as an under-25 and can categorically say this is a complete fallacy. It took me nearly four months living on £42 a week dole money to get housing benefit and even that was no where near enough to cover my rent.
The announcement by Cameron today is nothing more than a plea to the right in his own party and voters of a similar selfish, well-to-do, persuasion. It will only come into being if the Tories win the next election, which surely even in this increasingly apathetic and individualistic country can’t happen after the disastrous term they have served. Can it?
This latest assault on poor people follows the cuts imposed to public services, benefit caps, NHS privatisation, police privatisation, the despicable slave labour scheme that is the ‘voluntary work’ project and numerous other daft and unjust policies the unelected government have sought to implement before we even notice.
Meanwhile, tax evasion continues unabated as Cameron’s classes avoid paying their way and their punishment appears to be a simple public dressing down from the prime minister and a pledge to do something about, with no actual will to follow his words up. All the while, in reality, the government has cut the number of public sector workers who could be better used chasing the rich syphoners rather than claiming dole and, shock horror – housing benefit, as they struggle to survive.
Jimmy Carr is hammered, quite rightly, for evading tax, yet one of the worst offenders was recently given an OBE for sucking up to the Queen and organising a big party at tax payers’ expense. Maybe Gary Barlow OBE’s unwillingness to pay tax, resonated with her maj.
A total of around £2bn will be saved in cutting benefits for poor people. Should the government instead target tax evaders, estimates put the figures to be garnered upwards of 10 times that amount.
Furthermore, if the government is determined to be seen to cut the benefits bill to appease the brain-washed right wing fools that plague our country, then surely it would make sense to actually help job creation? If people have jobs, they won’t need to claim benefits. It is that simple. Making millions of public sector workers unemployed (the government have a say in this, unlike the much-vaunted private sector which make their own decisions), flies in the face of any wish to lessen the benefits bill.
The number of people classed as ‘jobless’ recently fell, so they tell us. Unfortunately on closer inspection, it is clear to see that the numbers of unemployed people in Greater Manchester has actually risen by 9.4 per cent (http://mancunianmatters.co.uk/content/22064080-worrying-pattern-increasing-unemployment%E2%80%99-north-west-sees-94-rise). It is worse for other areas. Of course, you won’t read that in many media outlets.
Another point that is repeatedly, and completely wrongly, banded about is that people on the dole don’t want to work. While there is undeniably some people who live life in a contrary way to what we would deem ‘fair’, a recent survey by The Guardian found that only one in eight people below the national average wage are claiming benefits.
It suits the popular view to spread such misconceptions, but Cameron’s latest bleatings betray a complete misunderstanding of life itself.
I suggest he spends a week on a north Manchester council estate living the life many hardworking residents of this country in order to give him a bit of much needed experience of reality. Something like that TV programme where they sent toffy-nosed Tory MPs to live with council tenants and they fucked off after a day or something. The MPs that is…