The many and various ways I pass the time now has a new addition. Usually it involves drinking coffee whilst sitting at a computer keeping in touch with chums, or sipping wine sitting on our tiny terrace catching the sun, and wondering what else I can do to avoid any cleaning or tidying or putting away of stuff and things that aren't even MINE. And now I am going to type this blog. Provided that doesn't become a chore as well, in which case...
Thursday, 11 April 2013
The Benefits Budget and How It Is Spent
This is all from a Facebook page, a public post going the rounds of being shared. Click here to read the original post and see the comments it is getting. You don't have to have a Facebook account to see it. The sentence I like best I have put in bold.
What do you think of the following? Were you already aware of the distortions in some parts of the popular press? Did you realise the immense degree of spin and exaggeration - I hesitate to accuse anyone of out-and-out lying - being put on this topic by many cabinet members?
Ok, I can't keep my gob shut any longer. I'm sick to death of seeing posts on Facebook about benefit scroungers. Do you know the figures? Because if you did you might see it in another light.
Did you know that only 3% of the benefits budget goes to people seeking work? 53% is pensions and other related old age benefits, 18% is Housing Benefit (which currently goes directly to landlords) 18% is working tax credits, and the rest disabled benefits and other bits and bobs. (And by the way, the Government figures say the fraud rate for disabled benefits is 0.3%)
In fact, the majority of folks claiming housing and council tax benefit ARE IN WORK.
I could write a bloody essay on this because I deal with it everyday. Our benefits budget is not out of control. According to the OECD Britain's benefit bill per head is nowhere near as generous as half the countries in Europe. (And unemployment benefit is particularly stingy compared to most)
The vast majority of folks just want to get on but minimum wage jobs are not paying enough. (This might explain why at work we're seeing working people going to bloody food banks every week.)
This shitty government is turning people against each other. And it's totally unwarranted. Yes, welfare needs reforming but you don't do that by kicking people out of their homes, stigmatising them so that they get spat at in the street and driving them to suicide. - these have all happened so far.
In the last two years 80% of people applying for housing benefit were all working. We can reform welfare by bringing in a living wage so that people don't have to claim benefits to get by. At the moment the welfare budget is subsidising low pay and private landlords on a grand scale.
When you see a post that puts the boot into benefit claimants, think twice before you like it because let me tell you, we are ALL only three mortgage payments away from disaster.
(If anyone wants the sources of the figures I have quoted, I will only be too happy to provide them)
I've attached a pie chart from 2011 to give you an idea. Figures will have changed a bit.