TUC Benefits Survey is Bad News For Tories


The TUC report which was splashed across the front page of The Independent yesterday shows that the Tory’s benefit bashing obsession may yet unravel as the impact of the vicious welfare cuts becomes increasingly visible.

The report (which can be accessed here) reveals that those who are most critical of the welfare state also seem to be those who know least about it.  They are also quite likely to be Tory voters.  This is not an uncommon phenomena – those who are most critical of the so called soft sentences handed out in the criminal justice system have also been observed to significantly under-estimate the severity of court sentences.

But the survey also shows very real support for the welfare state.  The first question asks whether benefits are too generous.  Whilst 69% of Tories agreed they were, amongst all those surveyed 46% said they were about right or not enough.  This compared to 42% overall who claimed they were too generous – which overlapped significantly with those who over-estimated how much benefits are worth.

The answers also reveal that Osborne’s latest cap, which pegs annual benefit rises at 1%, is far from popular once people are made aware of who will really suffer.  At first glance the news seems encouraging for the Tories.  48% of people support the cap, against 32% who oppose – although that support is strong in just one in five people.

But in a major blow for the new policy it is then revealed that 64% of people surveyed think this measure will mostly affect people who are unemployed.

40% of respondents opposed capping benefits for those who are working, with just 30% in support.  Yet this is exactly what Osborne is doing.  This Government are attacking the working poor every bit as much as they are attacking those without jobs.

Unhelpfully the TUC have announced this survey with the claim that “Support for benefit cuts dependent on ignorance”.  Whilst it’s difficult to disagree with that statement based on the survey results, attitudes won’t be changed by calling people stupid.  And all too often people haven’t been stupid.  They have been systematically lied to by both the media and (more importantly) all three political parties.

When George Osborne spoke of the striver, getting up to work whilst his benefit scrounging neighbour stayed in bed, few would have understood that Osborne intended to slash both their incomes.  When senior figures of all  parties have ranted incessantly about the benefits system being out of control then it’s hardly surprising that most people don’t realise that just 3% of welfare spending is spent on unemployment benefits.

And when both Iain Duncan Smith and David Cameron have lied time and time again about families being better off on benefits, then it is hardly surprising that over 50% of people think that someone is worse off by taking a job.  This deliberate untruth has permeated the debate so much that many Tories believe someone with kids taking a minimum wage job would be £86 a week worse off than they were on benefits, when in fact they would be around £139 a week better off.

Now fair enough some Tories are stupid.  But most normal people aren’t, and this shows the government are taking a dangerous gamble.  Support for welfare cuts is far from unanimous, and mostly comes from those who have swallowed the Government’s lies about claimants living a life of luxury.  When sleeping bags start to once more to line the High Streets of city centres then people will start to question those lies.  When foodbanks and child poverty hit the headlines again and again – as they will over the rest of this Parliament – then the myth that the UK’s benefits system is in any way generous will be demolished.  And then people will know they’ve been lied to, and that those lies have cost lives.

Follow me on twitter @johnnyvoid


82 responses to “TUC Benefits Survey is Bad News For Tories

  1. the most critical are invariably the most ignorant

  2. Your too generous to Tory voters and their ignorance of the facts. they only believe the lies of their own party and right wing media because they want to, tory voters are mostly self serving individuals who are blinkered to others’ misery and are not in any hurry to change things for the disadvantaged.

    • Steven2011@lavabit.com

      Many are I would agree but not all. There ARE some Tories who do have a brain and realise what the real problems are in this country many of these are the ‘working-class Tories’ which that party has always had and has relied-upon in order to win elections in the past. Many of these have now turned to either not voting at all, to UKIP or the BNP and the more that Cameron and his posh moronic chums in the party continue to crank-up their cretinous, demonstrably untrue and hate-filled rhetoric the more of these voters they will lose. Simply put, the Tory Party has NEVER been able to win an election without gaining at least some working-class and lower middle-class support. This is one of the reasons why the Tories are on a pathetic 29% in the polls.

  3. I voted Tory….Mr Scameron said we would have to make ‘sacrifices’ …Not for one moment did i think we would be sacrificed ..I have lost everything …My Job ..My past present AND my future I have now been forced to resort to my pension fund to pay electric gas and council tax as I dont het JSA as my wife has 2 part time cleaners jobs ….I will never AGAIN vote for these thieving lying bastards….

  4. The MPs use the media to poison the minds of the general public against people on benefits with their lies like the Nazi propagada machine against the Jews. Unfortunately the Nazis succeeded. Using the media is the only way to fight back and stop the MPs misinforming the public.

  5. Ukmartian

    It doesn’t matter which party you vote for, none will pay you unemployment benefit if you have other income coming into the home. The benefits that go to the rich such as child benefit, cold weather payments, free fares, free tv.licence, are NOT MEANS TESTED like the benefits that mean life and death to people such as cold weather payments or child benefits for the POOR, unemployment/sickness benefits which are reduced in some cases almost £ for £ when earning.

    • I agree there are people who get them but dont need them , and people dont get them but need them ..for example ..my son suffers from Cystic fibrosis ..he was working 20hrs a week , which with his health problems was just right for him, and with his housing and other benefits he was he kept reasonably well , health wise and financially he managed ..since the government changed things he was forced to do more hours to make ends meet ..his health is now in serious decline ..in the last year he has spent a total of 6 weeks in hospital, but he is deemed fit enough to work …

  6. “. . . the Tory’s benefit bashing obsession may yet unravel as the impact of the vicious welfare cuts becomes increasingly visible.!

    Indeed – but at what human cost?

  7. What do they and their policy makers care about the cost to the poor? their only concern is of what cost anything is to them, they who cannot get enough of everything. It will only be when crime affects them directly that they may stop and think about what they have done, but even then, maybe not, as long as they have the police and prison regime to protect them.

  8. @johnny I don’t think they care . They are Kami kazi govt . Bell bent on destroying welfare state and those who need it even if. Destroys them selves . Some Tories know their time is up so are intent upon. Making it hard for next govt. They’ve become reckless and dangerous and inccompetent . The wirkfare has nothing to do with employment but just have slave labour thinking all business would go along with it but they miscalculated . Business don’t. Like bad pr

  9. Pingback: TUC Benefits Survey is Bad News For Tories | Welfare, Disability, Politics and People's Right's | Scoop.it

  10. Another hard hitting blog. Workfare may collapse with just the push you and @boycottworkfare are giving it. But the scrounger gibes will still stick with too many uncommitted people who could be sympathetic until the disincentive to work caused by means testing is removed. Remember, IDS has provided the evidence against what he is doing Dynamic Benefits (2009) centreforsocialjustice.org.uk

  11. The Tories always under estimate the importance of micro economies in beating a recession, they just focus on their rich chums.

    The plastic Tory living in a small village running their small business with a copy of the Express or Mail under their arm are often to stupid to realise that cuts in benefit affect them as many of their customers receive either working or unemployment benefits.

  12. http://www.psfbuzz.org.uk/2012/09/centre-for-social-justice-responds-to-debate-on-welfare-reform/#.UOiWfHeP8qI

    The above link is dependent on the hours there is for you to work, the duration of the work and what the threshold is before benefit deductions are made.

    Those in the top or even middle income brackets are not dependent on insecure, fly by night employers that provide temporary or part-time work and expect the government to pick up the tab for the rest of their pay packet, they are salaried so can take time off for whatever reason and still be paid.

    They are not burdened with withdrawal of both wages and benefits if they have to take time off if a child is ill, being paid for holidays is usually out of the question because they are flitting from one part-time or temporary job to another, yet these smug, arrogant secure voters have the audacity to think they have any idea of what the job situation is for the rest of us.

    They don’t have a clue, all they are interested in is how they can reduce the welfare bill for the poor – not what they are claiming from it of course and how they can reduce their taxes.

    As far as how the working class survive their ignorance is bliss.

  13. something survived...

    If there are people in rows of sleeping bags, maybe the Government will think they are in Aliens and apply a flamethrower to the homeless.

  14. Ah, well the brown stuff’s gonna hit the whirly thing come Monday when those earning £50,000 p.a+ have their child benefit cut. These greedy bastards treat it as a perk & the attitude seems to be that this is some type of “compensation” for the level of tax they pay. My heart bleeds for them – NOT!

  15. I thought that too kittycat58 until I read this
    and other related articles in the independent 4.1.13

  16. Just read the daily mail related issues and comments on child benefit withdrawal – unbelievable comments such as why should we not get something back – they pay a higher rate of tax because they get higher incomes or do they? By the time the accountants get hold of these high earners incomes, they whittle their tax down to less than what those on the basic rate of income tax pay and who work a damn sight harder than they do too, so they can stop all the blustering about how hard they work and how much they are taxed – they are liars!

  17. As the number of homeless people rises and becomes more visible, I think the government and their right-wing media partners will respond by starting a demonisation and dehumanisation campaign against the homeless, printing story after story characterising them as feckless drug addicts and alcoholics, who have made themselves homeless by spending all their rent money on drugs and booze.

    I also expect to see more stories in the right-wing newspapers and on the BBC showing people with a fridge full of food going to foodbanks to get free food ( I have already seen this in a recent BBC propaganda documentary) and blaming child poverty on the fecklessness of their parents spending all their dole money on booze, fags and Sky TV. I’m not at all confident that the British people won’t fall for it.

    • I’d sooner starve than go to a food bank, & receive out of date rubbish food run as they are by goody-two-shoes, tory voting religious types. I may be down on my luck at the moment but I still have principles!

  18. what British people are we talking about here? The ones that believe it probably belong to the scotch malt whisky society or the classic wine drinkers society themselves, they don’t watch tv they visit the opera or the theatre, they don’t only smoke cigarettes they smoke pipes and cigars in their private members clubs and they can afford it all with their high incomes and tax reductions, so who from the working classes would be daft enough to listen to these gin sodden hypocrites?

  19. All the truth in the world will not stop this gang of psychopathic liars from carrying out their murderous plans.

  20. all the money goes to military and imf mobsters and loan sharks and banks of course. i wonder if the war is what crashed the world economy…

  21. Kittycat58 I wrote a swansong for Blair sung to the old tune bye, by, blackbird.

    Pack up all your crows and woes
    middle east wars and mad ASBO’s
    bye bye blackbird

    where somebody waits for ye
    sugary sweet wife cherie
    bye, bye blackbird

    No-one here can love or understand you
    all our hard luck stories were beyond you
    you’ve made your bed it’s time for flight
    last to leave turn out the light
    blackbird bye bye.

    • Joseph Ridgwell


      not for me to judge
      others can
      plain simple fact
      he’s just a mad man


      what do we know
      of the things he’s seen
      how did he get there
      where has he been

      not for me to judge
      others can
      plain simple fact
      he’s just a mad man


      what of his past
      whats he been through
      why’s he so differant
      to people like you

      not for me to judge
      others can
      plain simple fact
      he’s just a mad man


      michael fitzgerald


  22. my final contribution to the poetry i promise entitled:

    who needs advice?

    Open your eyes and scrutinize
    overpaid professionals and all their lies.

    info’s amassed and bills are passed
    then war is waged on the working class

    the old work ethic is what we need,
    say workaholics hooked on speed

    wealth creation is what’s required
    say the Alan Sugar’s who shout YOUR FIRED

    the naughty step is super nans way
    of making wayward children pay.

    build more jails shout the disciplinarians
    no that doesn’t work say the libertarians.

    hang them and flog them say the elite
    while the Antoinettes give them cake to eat

    happy pills always do the trick, say the quacks
    who profess to know how minds tick

    relaxation and nice talk-time
    alternative therapists think sublime.

    There’s a lot to be said for the power of prayer
    say those convinced we’re going somewhere.

    conflicting advice and self interest
    is proffered by prophets(profits) who think they know best

    But my contribution to all of mankind
    is mind your own business and know your own mind.

  23. Blimey. Up to today George Osborne, Member of Parliament, Chancellor of the Exchequer, a millionaire and the heir to a baronetcy, has been claiming Child Benefit from the State.

    This is the man who, along with his colleagues, continues to cut the benefits of people who need those benefits to survive.

    The Conservatives’ Press Office really should have had a close look at this one before it went out:


  24. First They Came For The Communists by Martin Niemoller
    First they came for the Communists,
    and I didn’t speak up,
    because I wasn’t a Communist.
    Then they came for the Jews,
    and I didn’t speak up,
    because I wasn’t a Jew.
    Then they came for the Catholics,
    and I didn’t speak up,
    because I was a Protestant.
    Then they came for me,
    and by that time there was no one
    left to speak up for me.

    • That’s interesting – on a postcard near here it says:

      ‘First they came for the Jews
      and I did not speak out –
      because I was not a Jew.

      Then they came for the communists
      and I did not speak out –
      because I was not a communist.

      Then they came for the trade
      unionists and I did not speak out –
      because I was not a trade unionist.

      Then they came for me –
      and there was no one left
      to speak out for me.’

  25. Osborne had a choice either cut welfare or put up taxes – he chose to cut welfare to the poorest which will amount to a saving of £83 billion by 2015/16 . How much of that I wonder was forfeited by the rich in comparison to the poor – i bet there are no figures for that.
    He himself as I’ve already stated on other posts has had his mortgage interest paid @ £100,000 since 2001.
    Since becoming chancellor he has earned in the region of 135 – 150k and has claimed child benefit.
    No doubt his tax bill was reduced to less than the basic rate of tax not to mention the tax free gift to every millionaire.
    Nobody can say this is not daylight robbery from the public purse, he and other ministers should be strung up for theft and crimes against humanity.

  26. Want a laugh? Read this petulant rant -http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-2257771/Thanks-Mr-Osborne–nasty-wicked-tax-affront-parents–unity-marriage-itself.html

  27. So cameron willingly gives up £1,720 per year in child benefit but has awarded himself and other millionaires £40,000 per year in tax refunds, somehow the figures don’t add up!

  28. A friend of my daughter is 24 ..She has .NEVER worked …she has a kid no father ….gets her rent paid …council tax paid …gets money hand over foot …wants for nothing she is now trying to do it again because they want her to work …..I have worked for 42 years ..paid all my taxes always paid for what i want ..brought up 2 children I have a mortgage never been in arrears ……Now i have no Job in debt upto my eyeballs ..they still want me to pay council tax they will not help pay for my mortgage they will not give me benefits they wont help me to work unless it is slave labour without pay ..WTF have I done or doing wrong ????…..apart from voting for this money grabbing thieving government…..

    • ? 2 wrongs don’t make a right ?

      Being aged 24 and a stay-at-home-mum doesn’t exactly equate in many people’s minds, anyway, to “wanting for nothing”. Future options can be a bit limited and difficult to access with a young child (or children) – attending college/finding and being able to keep a job etc. It depends on your own personal definition of ‘wanting for nothing’ of course. Money “hand over foot” isn’t entirely an accurate representation of the income available to a single person with one child living on benefits either (you do have your rent and council tax paid if you’re not in work and don’t have savings but this is because you couldn’t possibly find the money for these otherwise & would have to be evicted, with your child/children). ‘Hand over fist’ (?) maybe – I don’t think so. But it’s still not worth resenting someone in this situation for what they have – even if your daughter’s friend is really one of the (very, very few) people who make a ‘choice’ that these are the best options for themselves and their children – sounds like she has limited choices at present from what you’ve described of her situation? Unless we have ourselves been 24 and in that situation how can we know what it feels like. Being required to go out to work when you have young children is a recent phenomenon & not one that everyone finds easy to get their heads round.

      • @ shirleynott – Well said. I for one would far prefer that the next generations were brought up well cared for and brought up to have values. This slur on mother’s bringing up their children ‘on the state’ is just that. Not all fall into a culture of indolence and dependency. It may not be representative, but my youngest sister brought up her three children on benefits, and struggled. But, has she bred a generation of skivers? Not a bit of it. She herself is now working full time, a mortgage payer, and all her children are in work, working in the social care field. This is also in a rural area where any job is hard to find, and wages are correspondingly low. In some ways they are benefitting from the demographics of the area as it contains a significantly higher proportion of elderly, long having been an area attractive to retirees.

        The point I am making however, is that paying mothers/fathers to stay at home and do a decent job of bringing up the next generation of citizens is money well spent, and far, far cheaper than the alternatives. Perhaps it is time society started to view parenthood as being an important job in it’s own right rather than something for which people are castigated. The wealthy can afford daycare, or nannies for their children, but for ordinary working people the sums just don’t add up.

    • @ukmartian
      What do you mean she has never worked? She’s raising a child. Registered childminders do the same tasks for a wage. If she stopped raising the child then the taxpayer would have to pay far more in social care costs than paying the primary caregiver enough money for basic family sustainence when s/he is not in paid work. If she’s on benefits then she doesn’t get money hand over foot. That’s a lie. You were sold Tory lies, and believed them, and voted for them. Now people think the same things about people in your situation as the things you think about your anecdotal young lady.

    • If you were stupid enough to vote for these cunts, stop whining.
      Ranting on about single mothers.
      Fuck off you stupid right wing cunt.

      • No doubt you are a fucking a benefit scrounger who does not like the truth …..well I am totally fed up off seeing my life being flushed down the Tubes by this money grabbing fucking government and green haired tattooed metal clad sprogg popping layabouts who have no intention of working…I have paid 42 years into this so called caring country …well the only people they care about are themselves …so dont call a a right wing cunt !!!!!!

        • Why are you on this forum then? Or are you one of IDS’s goons? You wouldn’t be the first. No-one was rude to you, just honest & you respond with downright abusive comments. Not everyone on benefits is a “scrounger” as you describe. May I suggest you stick to the Daily Fail & the Scum, along with all the other right-wingnut brainwashed bigots.

          • Just to add, ukmartian, you should turn your scorn on the greedy bankers & tax dodgers,the real reason the economy is in the mess it is instead of blaming those convenient scapegoats benefit claimants & single mothers.

            • Who’s fault is it that single mums have limited choices, and resort to “Pushing out sprogs” as it was so eloquently put, as a means of survival?
              That’s right, the fucking Neoliberal politicians of ALL party political flavours.

        • shit private sector nurse

          You’re a stupid conservative voter that is ignorant, illiterate and uneducated.

          Let those morons burn down your business and still vote for ’em

        • Ukmartian is a good example of what we are up against. Even though he voted for the Tories and they have royally shafted him, and taken everything from him, he still believes right-wing “benefit scrounger” propaganda completely.

          He believes others out there on benefits are benefit scrounging scum like the ones he sees in the Daily Mail everyday and deserve everything they get, but he has worked all his life, he isn’t like those others who haven’t done a days work in their lives. He is deserving and that should be recognised, he should be treated differently to them, he should be treated with dignity and respect and given everything that he is entitled to.

          The Tories however, couldn’t care less whether or not you’ve done the “right thing” – worked hard and contributed, they have nothing but contempt for anyone who finds themselves dependent on benefits for whatever reason and consider them worthless, expendable subhumans who they fully intend to sacrifice, whether or not we have done the “right thing” or not.

          The British people have been brainwashed with right-wing demonisation and dehumanisation propaganda by the media for so long, that even becoming victims themselves of the Tory onslaught might not be enough to break them out of their indoctrination, especially as the right-wing media will continue to bombard them with misinformation and sophistry and will keep them supplied with a steady supply of scapegoats to blame for their plummeting living standards.

    • shit private sector nurse

      P.S Stop making up stories for ze DWP you fucking tory neaderthal

  29. These are as much the Labour Party’s welfare reforms as they are that of IDS & Co. Note how Labour politicians stagger and prevaricate on defending subsistence State Welfare.

    • The Labour Party and the Conservative party pretend to be adversaries for public consumption. They are just glorified actors. Their designated roles in this fake democracy are good cop bad cop, but they both serve the same master – they are a team. Labour serve as a safety valve to channel popular discontent into, so that it does not interfere with the ruling elite capitalists interests, or threaten their parasitical exploitative rule and to maintain the pretense that the people have a meaningful choice.

      The Labour “good cop” party laid the groundwork for the savage attack on the sick and disabled, the privatisation of the NHS and the slave labour “Work Programme” and now the Conservative “bad cop party” – the ruling elite’s hatchet men, have come in to finish the job. Labour are just like those thugs during the riots, who cynically pretended they were helping the injured Malaysian student, when their real intention was to rob him.

      The Tories come in and they plunge the knife into the pleb’s back 9 inches and then Labour comes in and they pull the knife out 3 inches and people call it progress, but the knife is still in their back causing them to bleed.

      Fuck Labour.

  30. Anomie

    The labour party were the ones that introduced state welfare – what we have now is not the labour party.

  31. and a vote for UKIP is a vote for Tory. So where does that leave us?

    • shit private sector nurse

      A Vote for Tea-Party UK and it’s corporations actually.

      Say something bad about UKIP on twitter and it automatically gets you suspended.

  32. ‘When foodbanks and child poverty hit the headlines again and again – as they will over the rest of this Parliament ‘
    I admire your faith in the British press, I don’t think the popular press care

  33. Personally I have very little faith in the British press or what they have to say.
    If you think you represent the popular press Richardrich79 lets hear what you have to say?

  34. They came for the disabled first.

  35. I did not come onto site to be abused by people who dont like the truth….goodbye…

  36. vote labour get Tory.

  37. missed out vote ukip get tory!!!

  38. Ohhhh you’re a cynical lot 😉

  39. Has IDS worked out that £49 is more than £11.95?

  40. Over a year ago I used the phrase “Scorched Earth Policy” in respect of what appeared to be the aims of this government. I stick by that. They know they have fuck all chance of a majority at the next GE, but if they can drive this country into the ground they hope that Labour will get the blame and that we’ll all be ignorant mugs in 2020 & have forgotten all of this. The real problem is that they are most probably right.

    While the electorate buys into the myth of the parties being different & cooperates with the blame game, we’ll just get more of the same every bloody time. No, I have no solution except to sack the lot of them and never let any of them be in charge of anything more complex than a tricycle ever again.

  41. Pingback: TUC Benefits Survey is Bad News For Tories | Welfare News Service (UK) | Scoop.it

  42. maureen.gardner

    Reading some of the comments that have been left that leaps out at me is that is it’s ok to stop benefits to others ,but so wrong when it falls to ones self!.Also every child has a Father-but every Father doesnt stand up to the responsabiltys of being a Man!!!

  43. Interesting discussion on the Digitalspy forums RE council tax from benefits.
    Mentioned only – as linking together of opinions and forums can only help.

  44. digital spy site only interested in celebrity and propaganda against the unemployed.

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