The Truth About IPP Sentences

Unrest grows as Council Tax Benefit cut hits 2.4m poorest

More riots in 2012?

More riots in 2013?

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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8 Responses to Unrest grows as Council Tax Benefit cut hits 2.4m poorest

  1. boris
    April 4, 2013 at 6:50 pm

    I am just going to sleep through this like it’s a bad dream.
    Maybe that is indeed all it is?

  2. smiler
    April 1, 2013 at 4:44 pm

    Am I right in thinking that this tax only affects those in council or association housing? Those in private rents are subject to a Local Housing Allowance. Lets try some examples:

    Family with 2 boys under 16 lives in a 3 bed private rent on housing benefit. Their rent is £520 pcm, their LHA is £500 pcm (based on their need for 2 bedrooms). They have to make up the £20 pcm difference. This new tax doesn’t affect them.

    An identical family live in a 3 bed housing association house. Their rent is £500 pcm, fully paid for under the affordable rents scheme. The new tax will take £56 pcm from them as they are deemed to have 1 bedroom too many.

    How can any right thinking person say that is fair?

  3. Pete Vernon
    March 31, 2013 at 12:36 am

    Just another example of this Govt.’s ability to operate a disccriminatory policy of ‘Benefits Taxation’ seems to have also recently appeared on the scene as the earlier comments from TC, today, demonstrate, is this punitive clawing back of £14.00 per week on what we know as ‘bedroom tax’ for those in ‘social housing’ tenancies with one ‘extra to needs’ bedroom.

    The discriminatory element comes flying out of the fact that this ‘levy’ will be borne entirely by those on benefits living in Govt. owned properties, mostly now managed by Housing Associations on behalf of the Local Authorities. …But it is not yet targetting those in exactly the same circumstancs, but living as tenants in privately owned properties..

    Well, hold on here, is this not discrimination again, but this time wholly dependant not on who you are, but, crazily, insanely even, on who your landlord is.??

    What do we call this then, ?? ‘Dicrimination….by the Back (Council) Door’ ??!! I’ve heard an overall figure of 600,000 Local Authority so called ‘Social Housing’ units exist under tennancies at this time, .. so how many, pray, private landlord tenancies must there be with folk on benefits as tenants… Could it be 2million ? ..Probably not far off I would imagine…. And where on Earth is the justice in operating this levy on up to say a fair proportion of 600,000 people in one group, and none of the 2million fortunate enough to have a private landlord, in the other group, irrespective of how many bedrooms lie empty in their properties….. I’ll tell you where that justice is….. Its exactly NOWHERE TO BE FOUND.!!

    How the H’… has this Govt. got the bare faced gall & affrontery to try on these discriminatory levies I cannot imagine. Please folk just do the best you can to resist these totally unfair & very hurtful to the ‘poorer people in our land’,…Levies..I do believe it likely that most of those adversely affected might find they would qualify for legal aid under the means test, at least, in bringing their refusal to pay under the laws of ‘Discrimination’ . into the Civil Courts. It might turn out to be very interesting to any legal practitioners reading this and seeing perhaps enormous opportunities for good businees here. !! It would be good to see some of your comments on this page too, don’t you think. ?

    • TC
      April 2, 2013 at 3:54 pm

      Some very interesting points raised there by Peter. What you say about the legal aid threshold for means testing etc, brings me to thinking of another basic issue.
      people who are in receipt of means tested welfare benefits, are by virtue, already living on what the government has deemed to be the absolute bare minimum required to live.
      How then, can that same government who say these people are living on the minimum amount they need to survive, justify taking even more money from them thus putting them in a situation where they are living below subsistent levels of income? By virtue of this, they are driving the poorest members of society into further depths of poverty. everyone knows that poverty and crime go hand in hand; I wonder if whatever savings these ill-thought plans may make, will be worth the greater cost to society on a broader scale? I don’t think you need to be any great economist to know the answer to that… We seem to be regressing at an alarming rate… so much for a so called civilized society and ‘first-world’ country…. depressing isnt the word!

  4. TC
    March 30, 2013 at 4:54 pm

    I am a single parent of two kids, one of whom is now an adult and left the country to work abroad. My other child is still of school age; I had supported myself and kids for years, through college and university study back in the days when no support was given to help with the costs of childcare or trying to ‘better yourself’. Now after some serious health problems, I am disabled and unable to work. Despite my disability and contrary to local councils claiming different, I AM being subjected to the extra community charge payment. I have to somehow find an extra £17 per week to pay for community charge and an additional £14.30 Per WEEK that I have to pay in ‘bedroom tax’. This coincides with a letter that I received informing me that my benefit will be reduced by £37 a week as of next week. I am glad that the elderly will be ostensibly protected from these inhumane changes, but there are many others who are also vulnerable and unable to support their basic living and pay for these changes. I imagine the only changes I will be able to make, will be to eat even less than I do already (if that’s possible) as I only eat on average, around two meals per week and survive on a diet of coffee and cereal the rest of the time… I don’t know how anyone living on benefits with kids can afford to live off fast food, as the only way I am able to feed my teen aged son healthily, is by careful budgeting,shopping around for special offers and meal planning. If I skip a meal myself, there’s more left for my child. That’s the only way we manage. I’m thinking that from next next week, two or three meals a week will be a luxury we will no longer be able to afford! Id anyone thinks that people ‘like me’ have a cushie time of it, I can only say, you have no idea what its like to be in somebody else’s situation or to walk in their shoes… The grass always looks greener on the other side… (especially when you’re hungry!) TC

    • TC
      March 30, 2013 at 4:57 pm

      apologies, the extra I need to pay is £17 per MONTH community charge (not per week) and £14.30 per week bedroom tax)
      tc

  5. Pete Vernon
    March 30, 2013 at 2:55 pm

    There appears to be one very serious flaw in the Govt’s strategy in hoping to collect this £14.00 per month contribution by those in receipt of standard unemployment benefits.

    Simply this, I say. The Govt., in allowing pensioners and also, seemingly, the disabled, to escape the ‘net’ on these payments/reductions in council tax benefit, is operating a discriminatory policy.

    That is to say the Govt. is unlawfully discriminating against those being forced to pay on the grounds of age…..This is an unlawful act under the statutes covering discrimination against one group in favour of another. Although as a pensioner I will not suffer, all others should refuse to pay and call on the law of the land to support them. I, for one, will be trying my damnedest to spread this message.There are so many less hurtful ways to make up defecits, and just the mention of our neighbour, France operating a 75% income tax rate on their top earners, might give this Govt. just a little clue !

  6. Max
    March 30, 2013 at 1:47 pm

    I am not a pensioner nor am I disabled. The woman next to me with 4 kids is obese because she can’t stop eating fast food. Her kids are the same. She admitted to me she only had so many children because it was profitable to do so.

    I live on less than £18 a week after my bills have been paid. I cannot work because of my criminal record, despite the fact that that I have two degrees. I have been trying to find work for 3 years and the Work Programme have given up and told me to go self employed.

    The government has dumped me on the scrap heap for ever.

    I am 45 years old. What hope then for older people who are still of working age?

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