How to Wage a War Upon the Poor


This is taken from a “Guardian” comments page – I reproduce it here without comment, as I believe it speaks for itself and needs to be shared as widely as possible – particularly after Gideon Osborne’s attempted snow-job yesterday, and Anne Widdecombe’s appalling hypocrisy and opportunism in her linking of the foul deeds of Mick Philpott to the Welfare State – so please try to get it out there:

Probably the most disgusting thing about this coalition has been their propaganda war against the most disadvantaged people in society. By the deliberate spreading of lies, they have facilitated a systematic assault upon the poor, the sick and the disabled. And they have knowingly misled the public for one simple reason, to enable them to totally dismantle the welfare state.
There are lies, damned lies, and then there are lying Tory bastards.
The welfare state has led to a ‘something for nothing’ culture?
It may be utterly repugnant to hear millionaire politicians who have never worked a day in their life telling us that they are ending the ‘something for nothing culture’, but it’s also utter bollocks. Only 2.5% of the total welfare budget of £200 billion actually goes on unemployment, whilst the vast majority of unemployed claimants have worked, and paid taxes, for years and are now on benefits due to redundancy, sickness, disability or having to care for someone. Millions more are receiving benefits due to poverty wages. The Welfare state is actually a massive state subsidy to business which enables it to pay poverty wages and charge exorbitant rents.
Living on benefits is a lifestyle choice?
Only 0.1% of benefit claimants who have claimed for 10 years or more are actually unemployed. Less than 5,000 people, out of over 9 million 16-64 year olds who don’t work, have been on Job Seekers Allowance for more than 5 years. Less than 0.1% of the 20 million working age households have 2 generations that have never had a permanent job. Despite strenuous efforts, researchers have been unable to find any families where three generations have never worked.
People won’t work because benefits are too high?
In 1971, JSA equalled 20.9% of the average wage. Today, it is worth 10.9%. These people are living in poverty. There are 8.5 million people receiving benefits in this country. There are more people IN WORK who get benefits than not working. The majority of all housing benefit claimants are IN WORK. 6.1 million people classed as living in poverty are from households IN WORK.
People on housing benefit live in mansions?
Our newspapers continuously bombard us with these stories. There are around five million claimants of Housing Benefit; of which there were five families who received over £100,000 per year, all living in central London. The average award of Housing Benefit is approximately £85 a week. Only 3% of families received more than £10,000 a year support, and 0.04% received more than £30,000 a year. And no-one ever mentions that housing benefit goes straight to the Landlord and not the claimant.
And those large families screwing the taxpayer? There are around 130 families with 10 children and only 10 families with 12 children IN THE WHOLE COUNTRY who are on benefits.
Benefit cheats are bankrupting the country?
Benefit fraud amounts to about £1.5 billion a year, less than 1% of the entire budget. To put this in perspective, the bank bailout equalled 1,000 years of benefit fraud. Meanwhile, £1.3 billion gets underpaid each year and a further £16 billion goes UNCLAIMED every year.
We can no longer afford the welfare state?
So who is really bankrupting the country? Well, the richest 1,000 people now possess £414 billion between them, a sum more than three times the size of the entire UK budget deficit. The richest 1% of the population are estimated to possess wealth of about £1 trillion. The richest 10% control wealth of about £4 trillion. The Quantitative Easing programme has increased the personal wealth of the UK’s richest 20% by enough to pay for Job Seeker’s Allowance for the next 100 years.
The people of this country are being shafted, but instead of the blame being directed at the real culprits, the rich, it is being aimed at the most vulnerable, the poor, with our own Government shamelessly leading the way.
And every one who believes their bullshit should hang their heads in shame.”

There’s a storm coming…

Rich Hammond 01/04/13

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