Shelbrooke has attempted to make a name for himself by proposing all benefits should be paid on ‘smart cards’ with the Government having control over how claimants spent the money.
This ludicrous idea came despite Iain Duncan Smith’s insistence that all benefits be paid in cash on a monthly basis. Both ideas are equally stupid. Under Shelbrooke’s plans claimants would have been unable to access telephones, stationary, hair dressers, launderettes, and crucially internet access – making it not just impossible to look for work, but also use the new ‘digital by default’ benefits systems. Under Iain Duncan Smith’s obsession with ‘direct payments’, even those with drug, alcohol or gambling problems will be given Housing Benefit – the payment which claimants can now have sent direct to landlords – in a monthly cash sum.
Shelbrooke’s bill was due for its second reading in early March but has now been withdrawn by the MP. This follows revelations that Lord Fraud’s smart card and jam jar schemes for so called ‘vulnerable’ claimants have also been abandoned.
Whilst some local authorities are considering smart cards and vouchers for the soon to be scrapped Crisis Loans and Community Care Grants, it seems that any national roll out of a food stamps style scheme will not be happening this during Parliament at least.
The inept clowns at the DWP can barely manage to run a website or welfare to work scheme without fucking it up as publicly as possible. The last thing Iain Duncan Smith needs is back-benchers like Shelbrooke trying to make a name for themselves by proposing a system that manages to be both the direct opposite of the Government’s current welfare policies, but is also equally shit.
Shelbrooke will now disappear back down the sewer he came from. With any luck Iain Duncan Smith, Lord Fraud and the skiving Employment Minister Mark Hoban, will not be far behind.
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