“It is about the right to work. It is in the name of the party. It is the Labour party.”
Hah. That's a quote from Labour's Work and Pensions Minister, James Purnell, as he defends his proposed welfare 'reforms' on the eve of their announcement.
From what is already known, they are timid. They will have little effect, essentially asking beneficiaries to plan to go to work as opposed to stopping the inflow of young people or tightening up eligibility.
Asked why he wouldn't consider time-limiting benefits;
"The British people would think that was unfair, if you had very bad luck over five years and at the end of it there was an arbitrary limit to your support.”
James Bartholomew sums up the UK's performance in welfare over the last few years. He could just as easily be talking about New Zealand and our Labour Party's performance.
Britain has more than four million people who are of working age but who are claiming benefit on the basis that they are not working. This is the case after more than a decade of economic growth. The figure is likely to rise substantially now that we have entered a recession.
The numbers who are claiming benefits in this way are about four times the equivalent figure in the 1960s. This has been a massive increase and it shows particularly in the number claiming benefit on the basis that they are sick or incapable and then number claiming benefit as lone parents...
...The Labour government basically funked it. President Clinton had signed into law a radical change in the USA which resulted a 60 per cent reduction in the numbers claiming welfare benefits. Other countries, according to Professor Gregg, also sharply increased the conditionality of their welfare benefits. Britain has made only marginal progress. The welfare culture with the damaging effects it has on national culture has been allowed to continue.
Yes Minister — The Five Standard Excuses
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