Cuts to Social Security benefits such as Job Seekers Allowance (JSA) and Employment Support Allowance (ESA) are causing an increase in acquisitive crimes including shoplifting, petty theft and non-domestic burglary.
In addition, the punitive sanctions imposed on the unemployed and those receiving benefits, supposedly but not necessarily for breaching the rules, are causing untold misery, family breakup and in some cases even suicide.
As TheOpinionSite.org warned it would, the Conservative led policy of punishing the least well off in British society, instigated by Iain Duncan Smith for purely political reasons, is leaving a trail of destruction from the north to the south of the country.
Only this week, the Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) for Derbyshire confirmed that crime in his area alone has increased by 3% on the same period last year; this increase comes after a 10 year decline in acquisitive crime rates.
This is the first time that a PCC has spoken out and confirmed that the Conservative led coalition government has embarked on a policy change that is having catastrophic effects on society.
The mealy-mouthed and sickeningly sanctimonious Minister for Employment, Esther McVey said:
“This government has always been clear that in return for claiming unemployment benefits jobseekers have a responsibility to do everything they can to get back into work. We are ending the something for nothing culture.”
What the Minister is not saying is that for many of those genuinely seeking work, the alleged employment opportunities simply do not exist.
Prime Minister David Cameron recently claimed in the House of Commons that two thirds of all the jobs on offer were full-time positions but there appears to be no independent confirmation of his rather misleading statement.
Having spoken to several job seekers as well as advisers supposedly responsible for helping the unemployed to find work, it would seem that the Prime Minister is totally incorrect in his statement, most available work being either part-time or based on a so called ‘zero hour’ contract.
According to the government, the most common reason (36%) for a sanction to be issued was that in the opinion of an adviser, the job seeker was not doing enough to find work.
Just to be clear, it is not the adviser who makes the final decision on whether or not a sanction should be issued and an appeal is possible.
Significantly however, TheOpinionSite.org could not find an example where a sanction had been recommended and not followed through.
“Not doing enough to find work” can of course mean anything that the job centre adviser wants it to mean.
The government has laid down a non-negotiable set of guidelines that require every job seeker to submit – at a minimum – six or seven job applications every week.
It should be obvious to even the most unknowing individual – adviser or job seeker – that given such a requirement, it will not be long before someone ends up applying for jobs that are not only entirely unsuitable but also impossible to obtain.
One job seeker told the TheOpinionSite.org that he had applied for work as a fireman, ballet dancer and even a policeman – even though he has a criminal record, no experience in dance and is afraid of heights.
Another thing that McVey did not point out is that 60% of benefits are paid to those in work; not the unemployed or those unable to work.
Imagine for a moment a family of two employed adults and two children who rely on benefits of one kind or another for the payment of bills and putting food on the table.
Putting aside the fact that in what is the sixth richest nation in the world such a situation should not exist anyway, further imagine the limited choices available to those parents when they discover that their benefits have been cut by a minimum of 30%.
Imagine as well what it must feel like to make a choice between keeping your children warm or feeding them; something that McVey or Duncan Smith have never had to do in their lives.
Food still has to be provided and heating turned on.
Hardly surprising then when out of sheer desperation, one or both parents turn to petty crime.
It was recently reported that the supermarket chain Asda now have a ‘rapid response’ relationship with local police in order that shoplifters can be speedily removed from Asda premises in order not to ‘upset’ other customers.
With the UK prison population back to a record high and 2.5 thousand prison spaces lost due to closures, it comes as no surprise at all that queues regularly form outside some magistrates courts as those waiting to answer charges for petty theft, burglary or failure to pay their TV licence wait their turn; perhaps hoping that given the limited spaces, they will not end up in jail.
As other Police and Crime Commissioners around the country have the courage to say what politicians and policeman are afraid to say – that government policies are causing crime rates to rise – those responsible for these draconian policies should take note.
If the Justice Secretary, Chris Grayling and Iain Duncan Smith had their way, we would see the reopening of Victorian workhouses for the poor and destitute, thus enabling the least fortunate to be even further exploited by an uncaring, selfish and power-motivated government.
The Liberal Democrats also need to take stock, given that they could have stood up to some of these vindictive measures before they were even introduced but failed to do so.
TheOpinionSite.org believes that as more and more people fall victim to cuts in benefit and DWP bullying tactics such as benefit sanctions, often handed out for the most minor infraction of the rules, crime will continue to rise.
David Cameron and his millionaire cabinet colleagues seem determined to drive the poor to utter destitution.
Obnoxious as he was, even Tony Blair did not forget the poor and needy.
Blair accepted that it was simply impossible to get everyone into work and he also acknowledged that it can sometimes be more expensive to try and force an unemployable person into employment than to simply pay a paltry benefit instead.
What we are seeing in Britain today has nothing to do with helping people but has everything to do with political ideology.
Benefit cuts do nothing to help people, particularly those who would already do almost anything to find a job and handing out unwarranted sanctions for petty misdemeanours is no answer either.
Initiating benefit cuts is bad enough but then to compound the effect by giving massive power to job centre advisers who cannot be trusted to use it properly is verging on the criminal and some might even say, insane.
The Conservative Party’s new mantra relating to ‘hard-working people’ and its ceaseless repetition is enough to make any sensible person throw up.
The sanctimonious hypocrisy of Conservative ministers and their manipulation of semantics in the hope that they may be able to pass off evil as good is equally sickening.
Ministers are prepared to lie about the figures, lie about the jobs and continue to lie about helping those who are, according to the government “trapped in a life on benefits.”
Such rhetorical nonsense does nothing to help those who really need assistance to feed and clothe their family whilst attempting to keep them warm.
Whilst all politicians think only of re-election and of holding onto power and while the Conservative party cannot be described as having ever been truly ‘compassionate’, this present administration can only be described as selfish, uncaring and evil.
TheOpinionSite.org among many others would hope that such a hated administration might find it impossible to last for much longer but, given the now endemic selfishness and moral superiority that pervades those in work and which sets them up against others who are less fortunate, the populist and unintelligent view is likely to prevail.
As the government vindictiveness continues and until the people rise up (which they will eventually), expect to see in Britain more benefit cuts, more hungry families, more deaths from hypothermia, more young people realising that their expensive but utterly useless qualifications are meaningless – and of course, expect to see more crime, more prisoners and ultimately, more social unrest.