The Welfare State is Good Value for the 99%

The war on welfare is little more than a confidence trick by the rich and private insurance industries, who are the only groups who will really benefit from further erosion of the benefits system.

David Cameron’s plans to cut Housing Benefit for under 25 year olds may be little more than political kite flying and will only happen should he win the next election.  It does however demonstrate the direction of travel that this Government of millionaires intend to pursue.  Support with housing costs is fundamental to the welfare state, meeting as it does most people’s biggest expense in times of difficulty.

Available, as it is, to those in and out of work alike, as well as pensioners, parents, sick and disabled people, Housing Benefit attempts to ensure that no-one faces homelessness due to old age, ill health or unemployment.

It doesn’t always work.  Street homelessness is testament to that.  But even though the cuts already implemented to Housing Benefits have barely begun to bite, homelessness is rising fast.  The social costs of this will be devastating, the personal costs for some almost unbearable to think about.  Yet still some will cheer every cut, as if the Government is finally acting in their interests and cracking down on the feckless and the workshy.

Housing Benefits, along with Support for Mortgage Interest (SMI) schemes – also under threat, operate as a form of social insurance.  An attack on these benefits is an attack on the vast majority of us.  You don’t need to claim Housing Benefit or SMI to benefit from their existence.  Were these benefits to be abolished then other, far greater costs, would replace them.

According to the Daily Telegraph, someone on as much as £50,000 a year only pays out around £493  annually towards Housing Benefit payments, out of a total of £4,727 towards the welfare bill as a whole.

What the Telegraph neglects to mention is that two fifths of the total welfare figure is spent on pensions.  Just ten percent is spent on housing benefits.  A deeper analysis of the figures shows that this is similar to the sum spent on sickness and unemployment benefits.  So just one pound in every five of welfare spending is directed at housing costs, unemployment benefits or sickness benefits, the three payments that seem to infuriate most benefit bashers.

This means that someone on as much as £50k a year is paying around a grand a year towards these parts of the benefits system.  Of course, most people don’t earn £50k a year.  Someone on £25k a year pays around £400 a year.

Some will demand this is still too much.  That the benefits system is broken, and even that it broke Britain. That not one penny should be spent on these scroungers,chavs and layabouts.

But let’s look at what someone on £25k gets for that money.  A comprehensive system of social insurance, that will attempt to ensure you don’t lose your home, not just if you fall ill or face redundancy, but even if your income slips below a certain level.  Insurance that not just covers you, but your children, and your parents.  Forget any tree hugging hippy crap.  Think about yourself for once.

Without a Welfare State it would be a foolish and irresponsible parent who did not have insurance should they find themselves out of work for any reason.  No-one likes to think about worst case scenarios, but even those who consider their jobs secure or themselves permanently employable can fall ill, have an accident or develop a mental health condition.  Even those most assured of their own ability should remember what happened to the miners in the 80s and countless other workers before and since.  Sometimes even very specific and bankable skills can become redundant as politics, society and technology changes.

Income protection schemes vary in price, complexity and level of cover.  One of the larger companies, British Insurance has a handy online calculator.  Someone in their early forties, taking out income protection against redundancy, accident or illness, which would leave them with £1,500 a month, would be expected to pay around £80 a month in premiums.  To receive £750 a month, a level similar to the amount which might be received on unemployment benefits and a low Housing Benefit award, would cost just under £40 a month.

This is more than a wage earner on £25k a year pays for these protections from the Welfare State.  Unlike the benefits system, the payments from British Insurance only last a year.  Unlike Housing Benefit, British Insurance will not make any provision to meet housing costs should your salary drop below a certain level. All in all, their cover is a bit shit, and almost worthless should you develop a long term health condition.

There are many other insurance schemes, some cheaper but with less cover, some more costly but with better cover.  None of them matches the value of the Welfare State for all but the very richest.  Even our chap on £50k a year is better off with Government insurance than finding themselves and their family at the mercy of private insurance companies.

Less than the top 5% of earners would find themselves better off if the Welfare State were abolished completely.  The rest of us would be forced to take out costly and complex insurance policies that offer far less protection than offered by the current system.  Either that or we could chance our arm and live without insurance, knowing that a heart attack or accident could mean our children face starvation.

We are all benefit scroungers.  Like with all insurance policies, many people will hope never to be in the position of having to rely on welfare, but all will thank fuck for its existence should the worst happen.

Yet with every cut, this cover is being eroded.  Until recently you were unlikely to be forced to move should you lose your job.  With the Housing Benefit caps now in place, many in rented accommodation will face homelessness should they be unable to work.  Should you fall ill, then you will be forced to undergo demeaning and punitive health assessments, based on those already carried out by the private insurance sector.  Should you become unemployed then you may be sent to work somewhere for no wages.

The Government is planning to erode support for mortgage interest payments, currently paid to those unable to work, often temporarily,to allow them to avoid facing repossession.  In the clearest intention of their policies yet, it is made clear in new regulations that home owners are to be expected to take out some form of income protection insurance.  Already Mr and Mrs £50k are getting shafted, as are those on £25k and those on much, much less.

Sure there have been anomalies and abuse.  A handful of large families placed temporarily in expensive London properties, or people claiming when they shouldn’t.  But these cost us pennies.  Far less even than the rampant abuse of tax loopholes, often by the very same people who want to strip the Welfare State away.  More money is lost to official error than fraud in the welfare system, which is not something that can be said about the tax system.

If the welfare state was removed completely, and if the Government knocked every last penny it cost from the tax bill (which they wouldn’t), then whatever form of private sector protection that replaced it would cost far more and deliver far less than is currently the case.

That the Welfare State also makes a notional attempt to keep children out of poverty, provide protection for sick and disabled people and help elderly people pay their heating bill, is beside the point.  Get selfish.  Welfare is the best value social insurance that money can currently buy.  Let’s not let insurance company spivs and the rich trick us into believing anything else.

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23 responses to “The Welfare State is Good Value for the 99%

  1. David Cameron is a Cunt

    Fuck this Nazi toff piece of shit!

    • What sort of fucking cunt would leave a kid in the pub?”

    • He’s a very bad man. What have I ever said about him? Literally fucking thousands of things. You know you’re a dick when the Prime Minister breaks off from the G20 summit. He’s having a meeting with Obama, and says, ‘Excuse me, Obama, there’s something I need to deal with, Jimmy Carr’s a fucking dick’.

    • Is this the same cameron cunt who claimed disability living allowance?

  2. One unspoken factor of housing benefit is the practice of “top up ” payments and agency fees. Many tenants that are in receipt of housing benefit to cover their rent are asked to pay a cash top up on top of the rent received via housing benefit. Typically the unemployed are forced to pay £10 cash to a landlord out of their benefit. Monthly agency fees are also expected to be paid out of benefit income.

  3. Perhaps all the future under 25’s who are homeless should set up camp outside each Job Centre Plus.

    • United StereoTypes of Unemployment (U.S.T.U)

      Kerry Thomas has the right idea. Let’s hope she doesn’t get nicked for tear-or-wrist activity..

  4. Pingback: The Welfare State is Good Value for the 95% | SteveB's Economy Scoops | Scoop.it

  5. Plain English award for above poster

  6. “Get selfish. Welfare is the best value social insurance that money can currently buy”.

    That’s very true, but right-wingers would rather have a less secure insurance policy that they pay much more for, if it means that their contribution doesn’t help a stranger. That’s how pathologically selfish and fucking stupid they are.

    Death to all Tories.

  7. And no.10 Downing St. is maintained by the taxpayer for the cunt Cameron to live in,is it not? As is Chequers? And what other benefits accrue to this inheritance millionaire hypocrite cunt?
    The Claggeron needs to be put down……pronto.

  8. All the toff/elites agendas are now glaringly bloody obvious but still, most people have their heads firmly buried in the sand. The English ruling class can kiss my ‘out of the sand pit’ arse.

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  10. Pingback: We Are All Benefit Scroungers Daily Telegraph Figures Show | the void

  11. Without a welfare state we’d all be worse off.

    The hateful bitter careworker whose eyes boggle at the young unemployed guy’s gadget collection would be paid a lot less if there was no safety net, and the NMW is part of that. Who does she blame? Him, because he’s a scrounger.

    The ignorant businesswoman that questions whether children should get both home cooked food as well as state funded school meals.

    The former claimant whose memory of her own time on the dole compels her to mask her own continued dependence by taking it out on another single parent.

    This country is fucked.

    Without a safety net there’d be mass exploitation and huge crime. People moaning now about migration would think the situation they crow about today was some golden age.

    More political misdirection: ‘we all pay your benefits’ is broadcast a day after the MP pay rise is revealed. The BBC yet agian in collusion with this odious government.

    There is no benefit justice unless we make it ourselves. General strike now. Civil disobedience now. We need our own Tahrir Square.

  12. Wow, I cant believe I have not come across this blog before….. Loving it

  13. Pingback: Oi Nick and Margaret, We Pay Your Wages! | the void

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