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Monday, 13 April 2015

Fiscal responsibility and social security

By Dude Swheatie of Kwug

Labour leader Ed Miliband has pledged his party to 'fiscal responsibility', 'accounting for every penny' with the launch of Labour's Manifesto for the UK General Election 2015.(1) I accuse his party's penny-pinching of complicity in
during its 1997 to 2010 time in office when I was a disabled jobseeker. That includes the times when I was in full-time study (on Mandatory Award that was even less than unemployment benefit/JSA levels [1994-1997], and JSA dependent part-time work at £7.81/hr as a social care worker with minimal in-service training [2005-2006]. (Zero growth budget increases under Labour central and local government for charities such as the one I worked for in 2005-2006 stemmed, I was told, from under-investment by central government in local authority budgets.) More in-service training might have permitted me to extend the range of my 'service delivery' to the array of 'adults with learning difficulties' that that charity was contracted to support; but my eventual experience was of walking six miles to to and from service users' houses for work each day contracted session even while I was getting less than Jsa levels. Through that I developed cystitis in my legs through a low-budget, high stress life-style realised that as an adult with a learning difficulty myself, constantly cost-cutting government policies ensured that I would never be considered 'hard working' enough to get the support I required.

DWP staffing cuts also screwed up the delivery of the JSA top-up to my part-time earnings of £7.81/hr.(4)

There is an obsession among the well-to-do and the middle classes through the failure of not only politicians such as Iain Duncan Smith to take up the challenge of attempting to live on £53/wk,(5) and the failure of politicians to internalise the challenge of 'accounting for every penny' in the delivery of public spending that they would get from say six months on JSA levels as their income parameters. And how about voters taking up that challenge?

A question for parliamentary candidates in the 2015 UK General Election:
Isn't it high time that the policies of parties standing for political office were led more by people with actual experience of poverty through being disabled people and carers themselves, than by bankers such as David Freud and Rachel Reeves, American private health insurance company Unum that has been advising successive UK Governments on 'welfare reform' since 1994, and Common Agricultural Policy beneficiary and land-owner Iain Duncan Smith?(6) (7) (8) (9)

Personal Note

The author 'declares an interest' in that he is a member of another political party. He is critical of that party's own practice of having everything for its own General Election manifestos costed while there has been no proper audit of the economics of poverty line living. Eg, unpaid family carers save the NHS more than the total NHS budget, and yet the conventional UK government response to that fact can be summarised by denial — through the introduction of Unum-inspired 'disability denial factory' techniques — of the disability or health condition of the person cared for.(10) (11)

As with specific reference to "inadequate funds" for the fullest inclusion/equality of American blacks/'negroes' in Revd Dr Martin Luther King's 'I Have a Dream' speech, disabled people who are poor have been cheated out of equal rights.(12)

Reference Notes

(1) http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2015/apr/12/ed-miliband-manchester-manifesto-labour-party-fiscal-responsibility
(2) Yahoo search: jsa levels real-terms site: http://www.taxpayersagainstpoverty.org.uk
(3) http://www.communitycare.co.uk/2006/06/23/why-people-work-informally-while-claiming-benefits-special-report/
(4)  http://www.communitycare.co.uk/2006/11/16/jobcentre-plus-poor-service-continues/
(5) https://www.change.org/p/iain-duncan-smith-iain-duncan-smith-to-live-on-53-a-week
(6) David Freud reference http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/1577313/Welfare-is-a-mess-says-adviser-David-Freud.html
(7) Rachel Reeves reference http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/1577313/Welfare-is-a-mess-says-adviser-David-Freud.html
 (8) Unum reference http://www.whywaitforever.com/dwpatosbusinessunum.html
(9) Iain Duncan Smith as Common Agricultural Policy beneficiary http://www.monbiot.com/2013/07/01/robber-barons/
(10) Carers save the country .... http://www.theguardian.com/society/2011/may/12/carers-save-uk-119bn-a-year
(11) Unum and 'disability denial factory' techniques http://dpac.uk.net/tag/work-capability-assessment-wca/
(12) http://quotesnack.com/martin-luther-king/we-refuse-to-believe-that-there-are-insufficient-funds-in-the-great-vaults-of-opportunity-of-this-nation-martin-luther-king-jr/

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