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Sunday, December 30, 2012


george osborne was happy to announce that he was capping the increase of benefit payments to 1% a year for the next three years, or it might even be six depending on who you listen to.

the sun newspaper, among others, greeted this with much applause and acclaim. that'll teach 'em seemed to be the basic gist of it. those feckless shirkers won't be able to keep living the life of luxury that is so out of the grasp of the heroic strivers.
as far as the sun is concerned: the cap fits..

as ever this ignores some inconvenient facts (but never let it be said that 'the sun' deals in fact).

the sun, who love to run stories of the feckless poor living in very large houses or with huge plasma screen tvs, have fallen foul of their own hype. they now believe that everyone on benefits is living it up on the sunny side of the street. in truth the large majority of people who are on benefits of one kind or another are struggling to make ends meet.

furthermore the majority of people on benefits are actually working. the real crime about benefits is the the large number of working poor. in effect the state is subsidising the low pay practices of many companies. so the cap will hit these families.
but you can't mention that there are all these working poor getting benefits because it undermines your baisc argument that these benefits are going to lazy shirkeers.

iain duncan smith, a man who seems to be losing the plot daily, has recently made an argument that if the benefits to the working poor are cut and restructured this will encourage companies to pay more than the minimum wage to the low paid staff.
quite why they would do that is not explained and frankly you have to wonder what ids has been smoking.

oh but hold on that 1% cap might just hit those who are leaving the armed forces and will be needing state benefits to get by on.
now the sun is complaining about the measure - as it will hit 'our heroes'.
that's what happens when you bring in such a policy. it also goes to show you should think before you run your stories praising it (to be fair you wouldn't have had to think too long or too hard to see the major flaw in it).

the sun is a bit upset. (such a fickle bunch).
now it seems the cap is too tight.

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