First off, I have to admit I don’t know quite how the new ‘universal benefit’ is going to work, I’m sure some out there have a clue, currently I don’t so I’m reserving judgement, what I do know is that the current system encourages dependency on benefits, so I can see where Ian Duncan Smith is coming from.
Parents should get a job rather than rely on handout if they want to lift their children out of poverty, Iain Duncan Smith will declare today.
The Work and Pensions Secretary will insist that employment, not a few extra pounds in welfare benefits, is the key to lifting families out of poverty, as he unveils plans to replace all other out of work benefits from 2013, with the Coalition’s new universal credit. Mr Duncan Smith claims the reform will remove incentives to stay on welfare rather than moving into work.
What ought to be common sense in that anyone with a job is better off than anyone on basic benefits seems to have been lost over the years, along with a strong work ethic. Yes I know all the arguments on how people might lose their homes if they can’t pay the rent, child poverty etc. But it cannot be right either that anyone willing to work should end up worse off than had they remained unemployed.
I do mean unemployed as well, I don’t mean the sick and I don’t mean the retired. Different rules should apply there.
What is essentially needed is a hand up, not a hand out, minimum benefits being a place where you can survive but not thrive.. The next problem of course being how do we make sure that the benefits that are paid actually get spent on necessities rather than luxuries?
Well short answer is we can’t, not unless we go to a voucher system, then all we’d probably end up with is a black market in vouchers for fags and booze, such being human nature. However a system where having a job is shown to be a smart move strikes me as a good start.
Next step is providing full employment…