Monday, December 31, 2012

Let's have some sensible discussion on welfare and wages

So, Ian Duncan Smith supports the paying of poverty wages by Britain's public and private enterprises and does not really believe that employment is the solution to poverty - only that the public purse should not be supporting those in need. This is the implication of his imbecilic and opportunist attack on the tax credits system.

If employers paid the living wage - not mentioned in his Telegraph article - the tax credits bill would fall by £2bn (according to the Resolution Foundation). More importantly the vital social contract between the nation and business would be healed to some extent. Businesses have a responsibility not just to make profits for shareholders but to pay wages that make life above the poverty line possible for their workforces.

We all want the day when no one in work needs their wages supported by the state.

Duncan Smith's fraud argument is the usual scare-mongering sideshow as it accounts for 5% of tax credits on his own inflated figures. What he should be doing is putting pressure on business to pay the living wage and above to all their employees and campaign for business to play its proper part in overcoming poverty in our country.

All his article does is demonstrate how woefully ill-equipped he is to be in the job he's currently got.


Anonymous said...

...and let's challenge government (central and local) along with health authorities and other commissioning bodies to pay appropriate fees for the services they procure. Then we'll have a change of paying the living wage...

Trevor Neill said...

Couldn’t agree more Simon – I write as someone who has benefitted enormously from the Tax Credit system myself, especially from the four years I worked part-time as a minister-in-training. Yes, the system is overly complicated (we remember having to sort out various issues with underpayment and overpayment), but it also provided important help at a difficult time.

Every week I have conversations now which bring home to me just how much people are struggling. People having benefits stopped. A local councillor who has told me about her increasing caseload and how people are falling through the floor of the welfare system. Teachers who are so demoralised by the fear generated by changes to OFSTED inspections. When times are hard, is it unreasonable to at least hope that those in positions of power are on our side, or sympathetic. Instead, we seem to have a government which is determined to remove anything which cushions the blow, and appears to relish every change which makes life harder for the poor.

There were lots of headlines when David Cameron’s Christmas message cited the Gospel of John. It’s a shame he hasn’t read Amos or James.

Locksmith Bromley said...

Absolutely agree Simon

Anonymous said...

"We all want the day when no one in work needs their wages supported by the state. "
Labour don't or they would have increased the tax threshold rather than introducing tax credits.
The solution is simple increase tax thresholds so people on the minimum wage.
This could be funded by reducing the crazy sums we give to pro single mums.