Thursday, July 28, 2011

Well I'm gobsmacked

Actually no not really was just an attempt at sarcasm (useless in the written word), but it turns out that about 75% of those on statutory sick pay are actually fit for work.
THREE in four people on sickness benefits are fit for work or drop their claim before facing strict new tests, shock figures revealed yesterday.
Startling statistics showed that of the 2.6million people on incapacity benefit, a total of 1.9million could work.
A further 17 per cent were found to be able to work at some point with the right support. Nine out of 10 were capable of employment.
After the figures were released by the Department for Work and Pensions, David Cameron renewed his condemnation of how millions had been left languishing on welfare. Visiting a work programme in Wales, the Prime Minister said: “We have left people on welfare for year after year when those people, with help and with assistance, could work.
“So we’re producing a much better system where we put people through their paces and say that if you can work, you should work, we’ll be there to help you with the training and the skills.
“That will be good for them, good for their families and good for our economy.’’ 
One of the things those of us on the (real)* right have complained about for years is that if you pay people enough so that they don't have to work, well guess what, they wont work. In order to disguise the amount of people claiming unemployment benefits,a previous government decided that it might be better to hide them by putting them on sickness benefit which would take them off the books and massage the figures nicely. So we ended up with falling unemployment but a burgeoning incapacity benefit situation where the unemployed actually got more money. In short it paid to be sick, so people claimed to be sick, people being people and always looking to make the best of any situation.
To my mind if we have to have a benefits system it should work in this manner...
  1. It's only open to those born here or those who have paid in a minimum amount equivalent to 10 years at minimum wage payments.
  2. Unemployment benefit is the absolute bare minimum to survive, you only get housing benefits for the first 6 months after that you're on your own, though if you do take a minimum wage job you will get housing benefits.
  3. For those bringing up children and cannot work, you get a variety of benefits paid at an in situ situation. You do not get rehoused or qualify for council housing, that goes to those who are in work. If you are in council housing already, that's fine.
  4. Those who are genuinely sick and who will be able to return to the jobs market will get enhanced benefits to make their lives as comfortable as possible until they return to work.
  5. Those who due to illness or injury cannot ever return to work will be looked after in comfort by the state for the rest of their lives.
  6. Those who retire who have paid into the system a set amount over their working lives get an enhanced pension to keep them comfortable, warm and fed for the rest of their lives.
  7. All the above are means tested.
I'm not saying that is a perfect system, it may well need to be tweaked, I probably have missed a trick or two, but it does strike me as being a start, it certainly is better than what is going on at the moment.

* The (real) right being those of us who want small government and low taxes, not fascism, racism or other weird and wonderful things that those on the left believe to be far right.

6 annotations:

thespecialone said...

I suggest that with these suggestions that you suggest that you are probably far-right and are likely to get a gun and kill people at random. Therefore you are probably a right-wing christian fundamentalist and you want to stop the islamification of the western world. What kind of person is it that does not believe that all claimants of invalidity benefits are genuine and in fact deserve even more benefits because they are the oppressed. You really need indoctrinating don't you into the correct ideologies whereby you have to be on message. Please report to the great university of Lenin immediately for 'enhanced' training.

The Guardian and the BBC.

Anonymous said...

child benefit taper -one child full benefit ,2nd child 66%,3rd child 33%, nothing for child 4

Anonymous said...

People who cannot work cannot live where people who can, and will pay (e.g. the Barbican, anywhere near the Square Mile).

Vouchers, not scratchcards (cash). Even we yuppies use Groupon vouchers, what's the difference?

># All the above are means tested.
Bullshit. I save my money instead of spunking it away. I lose my job, and you'll run me down to my last pound before you'll help, despite years of my having paid in. Screw that.

Michael Fowke said...

As I keep saying though on various blogs, there are only 500,000 job vacancies for 5 million unemployed/sick.

New jobs need to be created. A lot of them.

Quiet_Man said...

@ anon, Means tested against your having paid in to the system, not against how much you actually have saved. In other words if you retire here from anywhere else, you aren't entitled to anything from our system. Same with health visitors, no just turning up with a disease and expecting the NHS to fix you up, no charge.

Span Ows said...

@thespecialone, LOL!

I like 1 to 6 and had reservations about 7 but you have just answered that to Anon (11:03). Also Anon at 10:20 has a good point.