As David Cameron and his Tory colleagues head off to the sun for Easter, two million of Britain’s poorest citizens are today wondering how they are going to pay out an extra £14 per month to their local councils when there is no possibility of earning the extra money needed.
The measures are causing increasing unrest across the country, leading to the prospect of further riots, disturbances and more brutal police reaction.
In cutting Council Tax Benefit, Cameron is deliberately hurting the poorest of the poor in order to pander to his increasingly disillusioned Conservative back-benchers. The prime minister, like most of his cabinet, is a multi-millionaire. He cares not for anyone who does not fall into his social bracket, though he cynically says he does.
We should recall that the Tories’ forebears built the wealth of Britain not on ingenuity or business acumen but on slavery. The great country houses of Britain are testament to the suffering and exploitation endured by thousands of slaves as they were traded and worked to death like badly cared for animals.
Today, with slavery abolished in Britain and prisoners no longer being sent to foreign parts (though many prisoners and citizens would be pleased to take such an option), the Conservative party, reeling from the effects of being forced to be civilised to its ever diminishing pool of supporters, is looking for someone to take the blame for all the ills of the country.
Unfortunately for the least well off in our communities, they are the collective scapegoat.
One well qualified but 60 year old man who has been out of work for 6 years told us, ”Perhaps my local council would like to tell me who I’m not going to pay in order that I can pay the council. Either way I end up in court so who cares? I don’t because they can’t have what I genuinely haven’t got.”
Ian Duncan Smith and his Department of Work & Pensions have decided that in an ideal Britain, there should be no benefits payable to the poor at all. However, more “middle class” voters are now becoming “poor people” so some benefits, IDS has decided, will reluctantly have to be paid after all.
TheOpinionSite.org should point out that cutting welfare for the poorest is not an original idea from Mr Duncan Smith; he is merely following the American’s “Workfare” scheme which has itself been a monumental failure and, whilst not increasing employment, has managed to add 30% to the United State’s prison population in just 3 years.
As in Britain, certain types of offenders are black-listed by employers and will probably never work again after leaving prison, even though many are extremely well qualified.
The introduction of the ‘Council Tax Support Scheme” is a not very clever way of cutting the central government grant to local councils by 20% whilst, according to one government spokesman, “…providing an incentive for councils to get people back into work.” – though the minister stopped short of suggesting how councils should or indeed could actually achieve that aim.
With the coldest and longest winter for 50 years and the associated high energy bills that go with it, rampant inflation of food prices, pay cuts all round for ordinary people and more children being born than the country can ever cope with or afford, one must accept that “…difficult decisions have to be made…” – or so the politicians tell us.
It must indeed then have been excruciatingly difficult for David Cameron and his cabinet to award the wealthiest members of British society – including themselves – a £50,000 tax cut this year. I am sure the rest of us are all very happy for him and his leech-like colleagues.
So what of the rest of us and in particular, the poorest in society?
TheOpinionSite.org contacted three local councils to ask what they were going to do when their poorest citizens could not pay the extra £140 a month that was now being demanded.
We even explained that someone on Job Seeker’s Allowance at the full rate of £71 per week, by the time they had paid for their electricity, gas and exorbitant water bills would at best have about £18 per week left to spend on food, clothes and other household essentials.
The councils all told us that pensioners and the disabled were protected from having to pay anything at all. Well, good for them.
However, nobody we contacted wanted to talk about those who were not pensioners or disabled persons and the three authorities all said that although there was a ‘hardship’ fund for ‘exceptional cases’ (whatever they are) , most people would still have to pay their £14 per month.
If they did not, we were told, then the authorities would use their “normal reclamation procedures” through the local magistrates court.
All three local authority spokesmen told us, “Don’t blame us; blame the government.”
One other interesting thing that was common to all three authorities which were contacted by TheOpinionSite.org was that council tax had increased by 3.4% to cover the cost of police and the new police & crime commissioners; despite the fact that all three areas had less police officers and were pooling resources with adjacent forces.
It would seem therefore that despite the “difficult decisions” so often quoted today, chief constables still get everything they ask for; not surprising really when one considers that in order to extort any amount of money they desire, the police only have to mention “public protection”; two words which in Britain are akin to a money machine for anyone involved in that particular industry.
With teachers having decided to strike and unions planning coordinated action, lawful or otherwise, the government should be bracing itself for a difficult time.
As TheOpinionSite.org has pointed out previously, it is no secret that police forces across the country have been stockpiling ‘rubber bullets’, are in the process of arming all officers with supposedly ‘non-lethal’ taser guns and the Metropolitan Police has even made arrangements to use water canon on the streets of London if necessary.
The idiot government spokesman quoted above who suggest that local councils now have an “incentive to get people back into work”, just like his boss Duncan Smith fails to realise that there is no real work.
Most advertised vacant positions are either part-time (carefully calculated to leave someone just £8 a better off than when they were on benefits), commission-only or worse, unpaid “internships”; another disgusting idea from America which requires people to work for nothing but hope.
Those jobs that do not fall into the above are usually inaccessible to the people who most need work, often because of ageism or a criminal record.
The number of full-time jobs in Britain has fallen by nearly 30% over the last year, employers finding it cheaper to split the posts into part-time positions instead; something the government loves as it increases the total of people supposedly ‘in work’.
When the politicians return from their Easter jollies, they can expect a great deal of nasty stuff to be thrown at them.
They have only themselves to blame, especially the Conservative MPs who are driving these right wing policies whilst labouring under the misapprehension that this is a Tory government, which it isn’t; it’s a coalition and thank God that it is or the Victorian work-houses would have been reopened by now.
Having exploited prisoners, sex offenders, immigrants and Muslims, with no one else left to exploit, the government is now turning on the ‘respectable, hard-working’ people that are so beloved by Tory zealots.
Unfortunately for the Conservatives, many of these core Conservative voters are now themselves being hit by the very same welfare cuts that were designed to beat the poor into submission.
The ‘Poll Tax’ destroyed Margaret Thatcher. The reduction in Council Tax Benefit and other welfare cuts may very well destroy Cameron; if the Home Secretary, Theresa May doesn’t get him first that is.
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