Over the last couple of decades a warped consensus has emerged, shared by politicians, think tanks and even anti-poverty charities, that the very worst thing you can do for someone who is poor is give them what they need – which is more money.
The belief is that giving people money will dis-incentivise them, make them lazy, trap them in dependency to languish on benefits or discourage them from taking up all of the wonderful opportunities capitalism provides to work in a shit job on the minimum wage. And it is this last reason that lies behind the ideology. Bosses are worried that if people were paid decent unemployment benefits then then they would want more money for working. Wages and working conditions have become so atrocious that they are right to be worried. If benefits were increased then wages would have to rise.
Increasing benefits would be easy. The main unemployment benefits costs just over £4 billion a year. The DWP spends nearly twice that on admin and salaries, with much of that money going to private companies paid to harass unemployed people by forcing them onto workfare schemes. One report found that if the rich were actually to pay all the tax they dodge then it would raise £122 billion a year – enough to double both in and out of work benefits without a single tax rise. Soak the rich who do bother to pay tax as well and doubling both state pensions and the dole would be a piece of piss.
It is astonishing and shameful that as figures show one million people were forced to depend on foodbanks in the last year that not one of the main political parties is calling for more money for the poor. Only Class War, whose Westminster candidate Adam Clifford gave a fine interview on the Daily Politics show today, have promised to increase all benefits and pensions by doubling them.
If we have to live under this shit state of affairs, where the rich reduce our lives to near servitude with shit jobs, paltry benefits and soaring rents, then we should fight for every last penny we can take. Until we are strong enough to take it all. We want more fucking money – in wages, pensions and benefits.
Follow @ClassWar2015 on twitter and spread the word about Mayday’s Reclaim The Beats event outside the poor doors at 1 Commercial Street.
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