Friday, 26 November 2010

Welfare

I studied Social Policy graduated 1996 BA Honours.

The fact is that the welfare system never was intended to provide for long-term mass unemployment, never mind people on long-term incapacity because they cannot work, or single-parent families; not having a go at those groups of people just stating a fact.

What has changed since the start of the welfare state is the attitude to work and the expectation of a lifestyle committed to welfare benefit.

It matters not if immigrants or nationals are on benefits, what matters in the central collective understanding of a work ethic.

Most of the media and financially wealthy moguls, people the young admire or sadly idolize, give the impression that it is the norm to get what you want and start at the top. It was not for most if not all of them and it is not for people living in the real world. People have to stop saying that they will not get out of bed for less than £300 (£15,600 year) to £400 a week (20,800 year); that’s £7.50 or £10 per hour @40 hours a week, before tax. The minimum wage in the UK for people over 21 is £5.93 an hour; £4.92 for people aged 18 – 20 and £3.64 for people aged 16 – 17.

How do they think working folk in low paid jobs survive? Look at the wages of those jobs that are available; and their taxes also go towards welfare benefits.

Taxes, by stealth or otherwise are needed to pay for the welfare state. Otherwise we would have to go down the path of the USA and the implications of insurance based contributions for health, education and homes – or be without if one cannot afford or falls foul of the small print clauses and exceptions.

It is not just the “system” that needs a shake up it is the reality check of having to work and taking and making responsible life choices. It is hard. It is disappointing to work for a low wage. But that is life. Truly wish it was not. I don’t want my family working all hours for a pittance, but work they must to try to better themselves, work and save for their pension so they do not have to rely on the state to survive, but to live slightly better lives.

I think it would be better to scrap the ages for minimum wage and just say anybody regardless of age gets the upper limit.

I would also bring housing benefit payments to 16 year olds so that they can learn to stand on their own or with their partners or flat mates, it is not applicable to treat them like children when they are in fact adults.

Give young adults, 16+, a start in life to look towards and work at being responsible citizens not little children.  That means treating them as adults – wages, benefits and access to other so-called adult areas such as:

  • Marriage; the minimum legal age for getting married is 16 years old. In England and Wales the written consent of the parents or Guardians is required for persons who have not reached 18 years old and have not been previously married. If either of the persons is below 18 a birth certificate must be produced.  
  • Alcohol consumption; before the age of 18, you are not allowed to buy alcohol in pubs or shops, drink alcohol in pubs or outside in public places.  It is also unlawful for anyone else to buy alcohol for you if you are under 18 and the drink will be consumed in a pub or public place.   [However, if you're aged 16 or 17, you are allowed to drink wine, beer, or cider (but not other alcohol) with a meal in a restaurant, hotel or part of a pub set apart for eating meals. You can only do this if someone aged 18 or over is with you at the meal and buys the alcohol.] 
  • Voting; 16+ year olds can register to vote but cannot vote till they are 18.

Time to not just rethink the welfare state policy or shake it up by tweaking it.  It is time to get back to basics and see what it was about – universal vs means test ideological aspects also need rethinking.

Thursday, 18 November 2010

Persecuted for being a Christian

Not in this country – so far.  But throughout the world people are being persecuted for being Christians.  As true as this is a lot of the persecution comes from jealousy, ignorance, fear and loathing of that person.  Them being a Christian is a way to ‘get’ at them.

Villages and towns in those countries that allow persecution have a small mind mentality.  They live in incestrial, as in ‘close’ and ‘insular’, communities that allow an unchallenged sentimental intellect , if not ignorance, to develop and ‘fester’.  Absolutely nothing to do with the fact that someone is a Christian but everything to do with the ‘communities’ power and status structure, not just from the male side but from the female side as well, who see the freedom of a female Christian, in a totally male dominated society, and want it, they cannot have it without change, they have to stand out against the male dominance, so they do the only thing they can, which is attack what they cannot have.  The men are the same, they need to keep their power base.  Institutionalised religion is obsessed with power, and fear the loss of it.  Ignorant people always attack what they are afraid of, be it the Christians, the Jews, the Muslims or the homosexuals, the women, the ‘other’!

Yes indeed Islam and Judaism were, are progenitors of hate as were and are some Christians.  Yes indeed are some Hindi’s and Buddhists progenitors of intolerance and in some cases hate.  But one way to be powerful, and the only way for some men and women to feel powerful and in control is to attack ‘the other’.  To ensure the ‘other’ does not rock the perceived status quo of said community or even country.  And in this case the other is the Christian.

Those in control of their fate, in true harmony with their belief do not need to attack, to find scape goats to hate.  They are not afraid of the other because they have total faith in their own belief.  The other will dissipate over time.  The other is not a threat.

Thursday, 4 November 2010

The Cuts

We are going through difficult times now days. Were there any times that were not difficult?

The government has introduced draconian cuts to welfare benefits in order to cut the national debt. I hope they are taking cuts in their benefits as well. If the over paid inefficient and ineffective bankers, industrialists and business people were made to pay back into society their excesses and bonuses, not really earned boys and girls, you got bailed out by ‘our’ money, then gave yourself a bonus, you greedy selfish immoral people, then the national debt would be halved or wiped out!

But hey that’s life, the robber barons of the past are still here in the present and will be taking from the ordinary working folk in the future. Hey Dave and Nick, new name for you, The Baron Boys of London Town.

Of course not all the welfare cuts are draconian in nature. The need for people to work to pay taxes to pay for pensions, welfare benefits and the social amenities that make the UK what it is, it critical. Without those taxes coming in we will not have any social or state benefits to pay out to people.

There has always been in place penalties to be applied for non-compliant of employment related activities. They have just not been enforced where they could or should have been. A lack of efficiency on behalf of the Job Centre staff. Or they were, are, just too overwhelmed by numbers to enforce ‘discipline’ or ‘penalties’. The number of decent people who took their proof of job search to such centres and just had the information ignored, well people what would you do? It has not changed since the revamping and outsourcing of the Job Centre programmes.

The question has to be asked to people who have been out of work for decades, is why? Most people out of work for so long are out of the work ethic mode, some are looking at a too high a wage and job related realism. Been there, done that. Sadly the crisis could lead to a US style imposition of working for your benefit by being ‘put’ into a job regardless of your ability or aptitude for that job. Bums in jobs; makes a change from bums on pews.