Why is it fair for taxpayers to subsidise businesses but not the disabled?

Swivel-eyed loon: This is the kind of many who thinks subsidising businesses to be lazy, while refusing to support disabled students (no matter how intelligent they are) is a clever idea. [Picture: Left Foot Forward]

Swivel-eyed loon: This is the kind of many who thinks subsidising businesses to be lazy, while refusing to support disabled students (no matter how intelligent they are) is a clever idea. [Picture: Left Foot Forward]

George Osborne was today set to attack both the Labour Party and UKIP as being bad for business. Isn’t that a bit rich, coming from a man whose party uses taxpayers’ money to subsidise private firms?

Across the UK, firms of all sizes – ranging from huge multinationals right down to the smallest traders – take advantage of the taxpayer-funded benefit system that supports people who earn less than the Living Wage (the minimum amount necessary for a working person to be able to pay their own way).

Osborne would have you believe this is good for Britain; more firms are employing more people – and that’s got to be good, right?

Wrong. More people may be employed, but on increasingly less money, meaning the burden on the taxpayer is increasing all the time.

But the taxpayer has increasingly less money to give to the Treasury, meaning that – instead of saving the economy – Osborne has put us into a vicious spiral of diminishing returns.

That’s what you get when you ask a towel-folder to do a real job!

It would be far better to demand that businesses pay the Living Wage. It isn’t an impossible dream – only a few decades ago, it was possible for one parent to earn enough to house and feed an entire family. Why doesn’t this happen anymore?

There is, in fact, no reason for it to have stopped.

The only conclusion we can reach is that the Tory government is using the system to leach money into the pockets of wealthy businesspeople. By pushing benefit payments so low that the unemployed and low-paid struggle to support themselves, they have made it possible for employers to pay less and pocket more.

That is why the names on the Sunday Times Roll Call of Shame (otherwise known as the Rich List) are so much richer this year than they were before the Tories weren’t elected.

The answer is simple: Compel businesses to pay the Living Wage.

Oh, but you think that will be bad for business too, do you?

Mr Osborne would tell you so, would he?

How odd – because this would be no different from a policy his government has been happily forcing on benefit claimants since 2010.

You see, as stated above, the policy has been to make living on benefits extremely difficult in order to force people to seek employment. This in turn allows firms to depress wages because they can tell the workforce there are plenty of other people waiting to take their places.

Only today, on this blog, we were discussing Tory David Willetts’ plan to cut Disabled Student Allowance. He wants us to believe that this will get students with disabilities to work harder, rather than expecting the taxpayer to lay everything at their feet; in fact, he is taking away their lifeline and leaving them to starve.

But the argument works just as well with employers. Any government with the guts to tell them that the crutch of in-work benefits is being removed and they will have to pay the difference is sending out the same message to employers as they did to benefit claimants: You’ve had it easy for too long. Now it’s time for you to earn your keep.

Some firms will go under. Unlike the disabled people being victimised by David Willetts (et al), we should shed no tears for them; they weren’t helping the economy.

More will pay up – finding new markets to fund the extra expenditure. These are the businesses that will build the real economic recovery.

Labour is one of only a few political organisations that support the Living Wage, and therefore the only mass-appeal political party that would have a genuinely beneficial effect on the economy.

Oh, but I forgot.

You were listening to George Osborne.

And he says Labour is bad for business.

But then – he’s no economist.

He’s a towel-folder.

Follow me on Twitter: @MidWalesMike

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  1. sdbast May 21, 2014 at 3:17 pm - Reply

    Reblogged this on sdbast.

  2. clouty May 21, 2014 at 3:55 pm - Reply

    Have a look at your first paragraph, Mike. I don’t think you meant it to be like that.

    • Mike Sivier May 21, 2014 at 5:44 pm - Reply

      What’s wrong with it? I’m saying Osborne uses tax money to line bosses’ pockets.

  3. beastrabban May 21, 2014 at 4:22 pm - Reply

    Reblogged this on Beastrabban’s Weblog and commented:
    Mike here attacks the Tory logic behind their policies that allow big businesses to pay literally starvation wages, knowing that this will be topped up by the state. Yet Tory ideology also says that cutting welfare benefits will make people work harder and become less of a burden on society. Hence the vitriol and spleen against ‘welfare scroungers’, while big business are the worst scroungers of them all.

    There are so many levels of hypocrisy in this attitude that it is indeed staggering. You find amongst American Republicans particularly complete outrage whenever anyone dares to criticise the immense subsidies and tax cuts given to the wealthy and big business in America. It’s an attack on excellence! they scream, quite ignoring that if they were truly excellent, then by their own standards they wouldn’t have to demand tax hand-outs at the expense of the very poorest. The attitude is implicitly social Darwinist: big business needs help, because they are the economic fittest compared to the poor, who should be forced to the wall. Hitler himself made a speech celebrating the achievements of German businessmen, who, he stated, he would not move against or penalise as they had proved their biological superiority through rising to their position in society. It’s clearly an attitude that George Osborne shares. It’s not particularly surprising, as Osborne owes his position in society not to his own talent and initiative, but purely to his father’s wealth as the Baronet of Ballymoney.

  4. Bryn miller May 21, 2014 at 4:26 pm - Reply

    Mike, I’m all in favour of a decent living wage and the current minimum wage is woefully low and inadequate.However I ask the question,what has kept wages so low for so long? Could it be cheap unskilled labour coming from abroad willing to toil for pennies? I think you know where I’m coming from!
    What is a Towel-Folder? Never heard of that expression.

    • Mike Sivier May 21, 2014 at 7:05 pm - Reply

      Wages started to be pushed downwards during the 1980s, by the Thatcher governments.
      A towel-folder is a person who folds towels in a department store after people have unfolded them to have a look or a feel. It was George Osborne’s first and only real job.

      • Bryn miller May 21, 2014 at 10:40 pm - Reply

        Thanks for the explanation re the towel folder and its relation to osborne.you could say the same about miliband,his only job besides politics was a 6 month stint in a solicitors as a filing clerk. As I understand from various sources that our working folks wages have been under cut by the influx of cheap labour from abroad.Is this not true?

        • Mike Sivier May 21, 2014 at 11:41 pm - Reply

          The plan was always to cut employment, in order to make working-class people less secure, and therefore less able to negotiate for better wages. That’s why Keith Joseph and Nicholas Ridley planned “the substantial destruction of Britain’s remaining industrial base” back in the 1970s, and Margaret Thatcher carried it out, along with the removal of union power, between 1979 and 1990.
          The cheap foreign labour is most likely to be a myth, as the influx you describe occurred after the imposition of the minimum wage. Labour has been blamed for inviting immigrants in from eastern Europe, but of course it was the Conservatives who joined the European Union and signed up to its ‘free movement’ principle. If you believe that foreign labour also contributed towards making Britain a low-wage economy, then you should consider it to be part of the Tory plan as well.

  5. Jim Round May 21, 2014 at 7:56 pm - Reply

    Because business is seen by governments worldwide to be a net contributor to the countries coffers, they may even make sizeable donations to the ruling party and they will say they employ people.
    The disabled are seen as a burden, more likely to be a drain on public services plus any other extra support required.
    Wrong, but true.

    • Mike Sivier May 21, 2014 at 8:38 pm - Reply

      So what you’re saying is, it isn’t fair.
      You had me going for a moment because you started with “Because”, implying that you agreed that it was fair.

      • Jim Round May 21, 2014 at 9:46 pm - Reply

        No Mike, it isn’t fair, but it is, as I said, true.
        The worst part of this Mike, most of your posts are not even reported by the MSM.
        This sort of thing concerns me more than stories about Jordan’s new marriage/divorce/baby/breasts/meltdown (delete as appropriate)
        and, I should imagine, many more people.
        But no, it prefers to demonise those who are not the enemy and suck up to the real culprits.
        Trouble is, I can’t see things changing anytime soon.
        (I haven’t forgotten about writing that post btw)

  6. jaypot2012 May 21, 2014 at 8:10 pm - Reply

    I have a wish to put a piece of 2×2 around that face! The man is as bad as IDS.

  7. jaypot2012 May 21, 2014 at 8:11 pm - Reply

    Reblogged this on Jay's Journal and commented:
    How I hate Osbourne…

  8. […] George Osborne was today set to attack both the Labour Party and UKIP as being bad for business. Isn't that a bit rich, coming from a man whose party uses taxpayers' money to subsidise private firm…  […]

  9. helmcgoldrick May 22, 2014 at 3:48 pm - Reply

    Reblogged this on Black Triangle Action Group.

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