Once again the chinless fucking idiots at Labour’s favourite think tank the IPPR have spoken and once again gormless Ed Miliband has lapped up their vomit and turned it into Labour Party policy.
The contemptible idea that benefits for young people should be means-tested based on their parent’s wealth is a recipe for tearing fractured families apart. Young people whose parents decide they don’t want to pay their dole will face having to declare themselves ‘estranged’ from their parents, a process which could see them leaving the family home. Those who have faced parental abuse will be trapped with their abusers for even longer as the welfare state fails to provide a safety net. Of course posh wankers like Miliband don’t think this kind of thing can go on in higher income families, only the poor abuse their children in the minds of Hampstead liberals. Speak to anyone who has lived or worked in a young person’s homeless hostel and they will tell you a very different story – all of those young people will be at risk if Miliband ever gets his way.
His endlessly complex plans to strip benefits from those under 22 and force them into training or Labour’s workfare plus a sandwich scheme is equally reckless. We already know what kind of training ends up being on offer on these schemes once the grasping welfare-to-work sector has their hands on them. Miliband wants to force hundreds of thousands of young people into insecure, temporary and part time minimum wage work with their salaries all funded by the tax-payer. So why would any employer actually offer a young person a real job?
By far the nastiest element however of Miliband’s proposed reforms is yet more attacks on sick or disabled claimants. Paying a higher rate of benefit only to those who have paid five years National Insurance contributions will enshrine disability discrimination in the benefits system. Due to Labour’s last round of welfare reforms, thousands of sick or disabled people are now on the dole after being stripped of benefits due to the Atos regime. Shamefully recent DWP statistics show that less than 2% of these people are actually finding work even after a year of help (stop laughing) from the Work Programme.
This group – too sick to find a job and not sick enough to qualify for sickness benefits – would find themselves condemned to a lower rate of payment through no fault of their own. A payment that will be vulnerable to further cuts as those on the lower rate of Jobseekers Allowance will fast become the official undeserving poor in the eyes of much of the press and the political classes.
It doesn’t even end there. In the report on which Miliband’s policies are based, the IPPR are not just recommending that unemployed people be forced into training or workfare but also sick or disabled young people currently claiming Employment Support Allowance. In a move so callous it would make George Osborne blush, the IPPR wants to cut their benefits as well with a new Youth Allowance set at the current rate of Jobseeker’s Allowance.
Young sick or disabled people who are currently in the Work Related Activity Group of ESA would see their meagre incomes cut almost in half under these plans. It is unclear whether this group would also be subject to the parental means test but it seems likely. Anyone who thinks the Labour Party have changed and now give a shit about disabled people should take note. This goes way beyond anything the Tory Party have proposed to date, although by playing their game Miliband has now given them a reason to go even further.
It is not yet clear if Miliband will adopt this part of the IPPR’s recommendations as he barely seems to have a clue himself what he’s doing. But these proposals show a genuinely repugnant side to the man who happily fucked over his own brother to further his career but can’t even eat a bacon sandwich without it turning into a national joke. One of the hallmarks of the Tory administration has been the toxic combination of bungling and brutality. Ed Miliband has shown this week that he is equally inept, but just as nasty as the very worst of the current slime in government.
The IPPR’s report can be read at: http://www.ippr.org/publications/the-condition-of-britain-strategies-for-social-renewal
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