Baron Bichard, who used to run the Benefits Agency, is a member of a committee investigating demographic changes and their impact on public services.
According to the BBC, the former public sector boss turned toff, admitted it would be difficult for politicians to sell to the public, but pointed out: “So were tuition fees.”
Baron Bichard was close to David Blunkett whilst the seeds of today’s brutal welfare reforms were being planned. As the Permanent Secretary at the Department for Education and Employment the then Sir Michael Bichard even attempted to help David Blunkett cover up for his long standing affair with a civil servant. Bichard was well rewarded for his loyalty, being made a life peer in 2010.
Whilst Bichard has little influence in the current administration, his statement, which appears to be justified by current workfare schemes, is revealing:
“We are now prepared to say to people who are not looking for work, if you don’t look for work you don’t get benefits, so if you are old and you are not contributing in some way or another maybe there is some penalty attached to that.”
Whilst these plans are unlikely to see the light of day any time soon it is telling that a policy to work the elderly to death is even considered by an influential peer. If a man who used to have significant responsibility for the benefits system is happy to make these vile opinions known in public, then what is being discussed behind the scenes must be truly chilling.