Turncoat Tory’s blue-sky talk can’t hide the damning truth

A head up his own behind: David Freud doesn't want to make work pay - he just wants you to think he does.

A head up his own behind: David Freud doesn’t want to make work pay – he just wants you to think he does.

Here’s another Tory who should go boil his head: David Freud.

This former Labour advisor on social security – who had previously worked in the city, setting up company share flotations (and if that isn’t a deeply worrying connection, what is?) – crossed the floor to the Conservative Party when he realised Labour wasn’t going to keep power in 2010, and was rewarded with an utterly undeserved peerage.

It is possible that he has done at least as much harm to the unemployed as Unum and Atos, along with an equal amount of harm to those on low wages.

He has written a worthless screed in the Huffington Post, no doubt part of an attempt to soften us all up for a new assault on the workless. We’ll get to his words in a moment. First, let’s look at the current situation, as created by the David Cameron government that Freud serves.

Under the current government, real wages have fallen in 36 out of 37 months – the only month when they didn’t fall was April 2013, when millionaires had their tax cut and bank bonuses rocketed. You can be assured that ordinary wages continued to plummet.

This has been led, of course, by the social insecurity policies adopted by Freud. The plan has always been to make life extremely difficult for the unemployed, ensuring they will chase work wherever they can find it – no matter how poorly-paid. This is why zero-hours contracts have gained the prevalence they have, which would be unacceptable in a civilised society.

It also means that company bosses can push wages down, even if prices are rising and people are facing a cost of living crisis – because they can always say there are plenty of unemployed people willing to take a complaining worker’s place.

And prices are rising. Inflation has been above the current two per cent target throughout Cameron’s administration, meaning that, in 2011, 70 per cent of people saw their real wages fall as pay packets failed to keep up with inflation. Families were an average of £891 worse-off in the current financial year because of tax rises and cuts to tax credits and benefits introduced since 2010 – negating the much-touted £600 that was given back when the Coalition raised the threshold for tax payment.

The government has blamed high inflation on “rising global prices” but this is nonsense – inflation in other G7 countries has been lower than in the UK, disproving the claim.

Wages after inflation are forecast to be £1,520 lower in 2015 than in 2010, meaning that working people, on average, will have lost a total of £6,660 in real terms under the Coalition government of David Cameron.

It is against this background that David Freud has written, in the Huffington Post, about what he seems to think are his government’s successes in forcing unemployed people to chase your jobs, thereby keeping your wages low. They can’t go after other jobs, you see – this government hasn’t lifted a finger to create any!

“The benefit cap is now in place across the country,” he began. “This means that benefit claims are limited to a fair level, a maximum of the average working household earnings of £500 a week.” Instantly, he is distorting the truth. The income of an average household earning that much would be topped-up with benefits totalling a further £105 or thereabouts. The benefit cap is, therefore, intrinsically unfair.

“The taxpayer who funds the welfare state has the assurance that someone in receipt of benefits no longer has an income that’s beyond the reach of the average working family.” A flat-out lie. The average benefit recipient never received more than an average working family. As a rule, benefits totalled one-sixth of wages and the one per cent limit on benefit uprating over the next three years – no matter what inflation does – means a huge drop in real terms during that period.

“The benefit cap has removed the barrier some people faced getting into work.” Another lie. The barrier that was stopping people getting into work was a lack of jobs that paid enough for people to cover their costs. Freud and his government want you to compete for jobs that put you into debt at a s-l-I-g-h-t-l-y slower rate than if you were unemployed.

“I must be clear, the old system failed people. If benefits provide an income well above wages, sticking to receiving state support over going out to work is too easy a decision to make.” A false premise. Benefits never provided an income well above wages – except for people in extraordinary circumstances (and those people had stopped receiving such income before the benefit cap was imposed). It’s lie after lie with this man.

“Our reforms put getting into work at the top of the agenda.” No – they set working class people against each other, scrabbling for jobs that pay marginally more than benefits while employers compete in a race to the bottom, to see who can get away with paying the least.

“Universal Credit will make sure it pays to work and the benefit cap ensures a lifestyle on benefits is not a lifestyle beyond the reach of the average household.” Universal Credit is, as we all now know, a money pit into which Iain Duncan Smith has poured hundreds of millions of pounds and received nothing in return. The average household will soon endure a lifestyle – in work – that is almost indistinguishable from one on benefits, as wages continue to fall.

“That is why alongside putting the cap in place, we made sure that people who get a job and are eligible for working tax credits are exempt.” But hasn’t this government made working tax credits harder to claim?

“We have ensured that households who should be exempt, such as people claiming disability benefits as well as war widows and widowers, have not been affected.” What about sick and disabled people on Employment and Support Allowance, which is not classed as a disability benefit even though it is paid to people with disabilities? They have been dying in their thousands as a result of Freud’s policies.

Yes, this man’s ideas kill.

David Freud’s middle initial is ‘A’. Someone recently pointed out that initialising ‘David A Freud, Tory’ gives you the acronym ‘DAFT’.

You’d have to be daft to believe him.

25 thoughts on “Turncoat Tory’s blue-sky talk can’t hide the damning truth

  1. Nick

    Having now digested Ed’s speech at the conference what does it mean I hear some of you say. Well my speciality before my retirement was in interpreting not only policy but the meaning of which direction in which Ed would take us

    The meaning of his praise the race to the top is not applicable in the UK as the population is to large and to unskilled to start with so where Ed was going with this analogy will have to remain a mystery with Ed

    It was a good speech however that would have gone down well and been well excepted throughout the Caribbean or indeed any small country with a small population needing a positive push or indeed a country like Switzerland with a majority skilled workforce

    David Cameron’s vision on the other hand the race to the bottom is clear and is working well for him 3 years in. And that’s to get rid of vast amounts of waste and those who are wasteful to cut right back on benefits the NHS to make life as difficult as hell for all those in need so that the die much quicker than under previous conservative governments

    David Cameron’s main aim is to shrink the state to such a level that millions will disappear either in their premature death like the sick and disabled and the jobless to just move abroad of those that are left the average worker well they will end up working in conditions like in Bangladesh the return of slavery

    David Cameron is doing very well with his plans so far with the vast majority of their support not interested in most other government policy’s they will just be happy to continue the course he is on as it good for businesses

    As for Ed a good speech but as I said above not that really applicable for a small country so heavily over populated like the UK and in fairness to Ed he probably means well but as for pulling anything off of benefit to the average person in the UK it’s most unlikely to happen

    Getting rid of ATOS is a plus point but overall the sick and disabled under Ed will be only marginally better off than of now and for me having digested Ed speech none of what he said is really applicable to the UK

    As i have stated above and in my interpretation with regret Ed will fail as for his policy’s overall to work he would need genuine decent respectable businesses in operation throughout the UK of which there are only a few and a skilled and motivated workforce along with a public that could rise to the occasion and to think outwards instead of inwards (thinking of others and not themselves) These are the three key ingredients that this country would need for Ed to make any headway with his premiership if he were elected

    Regretfully the UK falls down on all of these three key ingredients so there is no way that the UK would be better off overall under labour

    the sick and disabled no doubt would find some respite and for this group of people then yes labour would be much preferable to David Cameron but as for Ed’s Briton can do better that has never been possible over the past 70 years and I cant for the life of me see that changing in 2015

    The UK’s history is one of slavery with the majority of businesses out to do as little as possible for it’s workforce that just in itself is bad enough but then when you add in a majority of the people with a selfish disposition as a country your going to end up just going round and round in circles like the past seventy years which is high living costs/fuel/housing/food etc so as for Ed’s race to the top’ as i say he means well and it sounds wonderful but in reality it’s just words and as a good friend has always said talks cheep

    David Cameron with his race to the bottom will be taking up to 3 million people in to the gutter over the coming years mainly the sick and disabled and the long term unemployed and anyone else not standing on their own to feet and that’s crystal clear for all to see. will the country’s voters support it ? yes as that is what selfish people do
    And on that basis I’m out

  2. shareen

    It is disgusting he is picking on the vulnerable, sick and poor. What an evil man he is, I hope one day he will realise what he has done. In the meantime he cosies up to his millionaire chums in parliament, another world. Nobody is going to employ a sick person. Wake up Mr Freud. The Nazis also killed off the sick.

  3. joanna

    Anyone whoo thinks he has a conscience is a fool he has already got a title (important to him in his cosy little world) and huge wealth, why would he care about little peoples freedoms, to those like freud there will never be enough to satisfy them, even by killing people who are useless to them, they will still want more, it seems to be the human condition!!!

  4. Samwise Gamgee

    And if the Tories get their way and impose workfare for the unemployed across the board working people will be working alongside people who only get paid state benefits and not the minimum wage. It will be all too tempting for companies to lay off their already lowest paid employees and get people in on workfare. Ironically many people could find themselves losing their job in January and end up as a workfare participant at their old workplace by the following Christmas, or after a two year stint on the Work Programme.

    Amidst all the poisonous us-and-them rhetoric the Tories use to set working and unemployed people against each other the effect of all this – Universal Credit, the work programme and workfare – could be to completely destroy any perceived barriers or differences between those in in employment and those who are unemployed.

  5. Charles Hay

    The “A”Is for Adolph for his friend Hitler, its a case of Arbied machtsvrije the welcoming propaganda text at Auschwitz and other detention camps in the second world war, in fact if you look at the political propagandist attitude of some of the political parties with regards to immigrants one would assume that these parties have taken some of there rhetoric from Hitler’s hand book mien Kampf , there not far of of having detention camps, or do they have these already?

  6. Alex Casale

    Yes, Harmondsworth, Morton Hall, Tinsley House, Campsfield House, Brook House, Colnbrook, etc. – and the infamous Yarl’s Wood.

  7. Leggy Mountbatten

    I’m not sure about Ed Miliband. After all he wrote the last Labour manifesto which, amongst its promises, stated that young single mothers would only get benefits from the state if they moved into one of a chain of “Foyers”, i.e., dormitory, convent-like residences, where they could be supervised and received instruction from others, presumably miles and miles and miles away from their families and friends.

    Someone who authored garbage like that isn’t trustworthy in my opinion.

    And cod-Labour Liam Byrne is STILL shadowing the DWP at present.

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  9. Blacky

    Lord David Freud. Who would have thought that the naked face of evil would turn out to be so plain, nondescript, and bland?

  10. bookmanwales

    Unfortunately despite the large numbers of blogs and FB pages devoted to these articles nothing will change.
    As Nick said earlier we have created a country full of selfish individuals with no empathy for their fellow beings. The lies and distortions the DWP and government have gotten away with over the last 3 years have become the truth. No amount of Labour back pedalling or promises can change what becomes stuck in peoples minds. The time to attack these lies was as and when they were uttered not 3 years later.
    Liam Byrne keeps spouting rhetoric straight from the Tory manifesto yet still holds the position of deputy leader. Ed Miiliband says what people want to hear without any concrete promises or plans and the media still pour out the Tory propaganda without pause, lies or not.
    Those working can’t be arsed to see for themselves how they will be affected by future changes as they all live for the “now” moment. Those unemployed can’t be arsed to get together and do something drastic preferring their bottles of cider on street corners or daily weed in some hidey hole.
    People are happy to brag about working 70 hrs a week or doing 3 jobs to make ends meet, people are happy to vilify benefit fraudsters but ok with bankers and major corporations avoiding taxes as “it’s legal”.
    The unions are happy to carry out the governments dirty work unless it affects them directly. Union leaders rant about unfair work practices but refuse to call for strikes, Labour MP’s meekly toe the party line instead of calling for changes and so on it goes.
    The only solution to this country’s ills is for a mass economic migration, let us all migrate to other countries that are up and coming and leave this “Sour and unpleasant” land behind
    Let us be the “boat people of Europe” and land where we can seek asylum from a repressive totalitarian dictatorship that seeks to end our lives by starvation and slavery, maybe once a few hundred have died in dodgy boats and washed up on Europe’s shores this government will be forced to take notice.

    Until then my friends we have only one hope and that is we die quickly from some plague or catastrophe rather than slow starvation or slavery.

    1. Mike Sivier

      Harriet Harman is deputy leader of the Labour Party.
      Other than that, you paint a depressing, but possibly accurate, image of attitudes in the modern UK.
      I disagree entirely with your opinion about blogs like this one – but then I hope you would not expect me to suggest anything else!

      1. bookmanwales

        My apologies, yes wrong dept for Liam Byrne Shadow DWP, should be more careful when writing. Whatever his position he should not be holding it anyway. For a Labour shadow minister to be offering to back up and improve a Tory policy that is patently wrong, and to still be employed in this position is to me reprehensible.

        My bit about blogs was not a criticism of the blogs themselves which in my mind bring the issues into the open but of the way people react with such apathy when important information is presented to them
        Each time I repost one of these excellent articles I am greeted with “what’s rattled your cage”, ” Morning comrade” or other equally disparaging remarks, these from supposed friends.

      2. Mike Sivier

        Is it that people don’t like change – or the possibility of change? Is it that they don’t want to be woken up from the soporific, “there’s nothing you can do about it” haze brought down on them by the BBC News and the Tory tabloids?
        Are they worried that someone else might take the initiative and they’ll lose out somehow?
        If they really are friends of yours, are they just trying to wind you up for a laugh?
        I reckon there’s an article in this, but it probably deserves a wider audience. How did Johnny Void get a comment piece in the Guardian – does anybody know?

  11. drewdog2060drewdog2060

    Foreign workers seem to be willing to take jobs which many people born here are unwilling to take. My Bulgarian cleaner who receives above the minimum wage does a good job and to my knowledge all of the other people who work, on a self-employed basis for the cleaning company are from Bulgaria. There is, obviously hardship but some people born here appear to be unwilling to take jobs, such as cleaners which are on offer.

    1. Mike Sivier

      You need to be sure of your facts when discussing these things. Today I reblogged a piece from the beastrabban blog saying 12 per cent of any worker’s income is spent on costs associated with their job, leaving them 88 per cent to use. Add to that the fact that pay has been pushed through the floor over the past three years of Tory-led oppression and jobseekers have to weigh up very carefully whether they can afford a job under particular conditions!
      I don’t know what conditions are relevant for your cleaner – for one thing it seems likely the company is ONLY taking on Bulgarians, from what you are telling us. But the wider implications for jobseekers are NOT as clear-cut as some would like us to believe.

      1. drewdog2060drewdog2060

        I read your other post including the reblog. I think there is, perhaps a case for a Living Wage although this would need to be set at a level which didn’t destroy jobs. So far as I am aware the lady who cleans for me lives with a number of other people as the costs of living in London are high but she has obviously taken the view that working in the UK afords greater financial benefits than in Bulgaria.

      2. Mike Sivier

        When the minimum wage was introduced, the Tories complained bitterly that it would destroy jobs. It did not – and there is no evidence that a living wage would do so, either.
        I note that your Bulgarian cleaner is, actually, WORKING in the UK. These poor people – they can’t win, you know. If they don’t have a job they’re stealing our benefits; if they do have a job, they’re stealing our work. Neither statement is likely to be true in the vast majority of cases.

      3. drewdog2060drewdog2060

        All people are deserving of respect irrespective of race or nationality. It is the person, the heart within that matters not the colour of the skin or the country of origin. I admire the lady who cleans for me as she works hard as have the previous people who cleaned for me.

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  14. Smiling Carcass

    Reblogged at SMILING CARCASS’S TWO-PENNETH with the comment “If benefits are higher than wages, then the fault lies with wages and the employer that pays them, not the level of benefits.

    While I do not agree that benefit levels are or have ever been higher than wages, even if that were so, benefits being calculated as the minimum you need to live on, then my statement above holds true. Either way, as far as I am concerned, Freud and the Tories have lost the argument.”

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