The Tories’ benefit cap is social DARWINISM, not ‘social justice in action’

Here’s a grinning ape: ‘Gentleman Ranker’ Iain Duncan Smith.

Can you believe Iain Duncan Smith is still trying to say his Benefit Cap, which pushes people into poverty, is “improving social mobility”?

The only way this could possibly be true is if that social mobility was going downward.

Writing in the Daily Telegraph newspaper the Work and Pensions Secretary claimed that his reduction in payments was providing people with a “clear path to fulfilling lives and independence from the state”.

“Welfare reform is improving social mobility for families across the country,” he argued.  “A key example of this is the benefit cap which we brought in to put a stop to sky-high benefit pay-outs. Under the Bill, the cap will be lowered from £26,000 to £23,000.”

Noting that a number of those who had been hit by the cap had found jobs, he said the cuts were not just about saving money.

“This is social justice in action, welfare reform that improves individual lives, not that just generates savings,” he wrote in the newspaper

Mr Duncan Smith presented no evidence to establish that the households had found work because their benefits had been cut, however.

We’ve heard this nonsense before, of course. Remember back in 2013, when the cap was first imposed at its figure of £26,000 per family? ‘Gentleman Ranker’ IDS tried to claim that 8,000 people had moved off-benefit and into work, just after being informed of the change.

He was later found to have been lying.

Pollsters Ipsos Mori surveyed 500 of the 8,000 people concerned, and found that 15 per cent of them hadn’t even heard of the benefit cap, and another 31 per cent only knew a little about it. Only 57 per cent remembered being informed that the cap would affect them, and of these, 71 per cent were already looking for work.

About half of those who remembered getting a letter about the cap took action afterwards. For 31 per cent, this meant looking for work (although half of these were already looking).

This means of the 500 surveyed, only around 45 people started looking for work because of the cap that weren’t doing so before. The best that could be said in reality was that about 720 people started looking for work and found it after hearing of the cap, who weren’t looking before.

This is not a particularly impressive behavioural change – in fact, on May 9 of that year, Andrew Dilnot of the UK Statistics Authority wrote to warn the Gentleman Ranker that he was playing fast and loose with the figures, and to demand that he correct himself.

Now he’s back, doing more of the same and expecting a different result (a sure sign of madness); spouting the same nonsense and expecting us to believe it.

He has no evidence to support his childish claims.

Charities dealing with poverty and homelessness, on the other hand, do. They say the benefit cap will become an even worse disaster for the people of the UK than it is already.

The biggEST disaster for us all, of course, is Iain Duncan Smith and the Conservative Party.

If you know anybody who voted for them, be sure to remind them of their mistake, every day, until the next election.

Source: The Tories’ benefit cap is ‘social justice in action’, says Iain Duncan Smith – UK Politics – UK – The Independent

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11 thoughts on “The Tories’ benefit cap is social DARWINISM, not ‘social justice in action’

  1. Bill Kruse

    The evidence he cites (elsewhere, I believe) is that 14,000 claimants have moved from JSA to WTC. Employed folk aren’t liable for the cap, you see, including the self-employed, so IDS is suggesting these people have all moved into work to avoid the cap. Well, he may be part right in that they’ve started claiming a different benefit to avoid the cap, but in reality I’d suggest people are accepting a reduction in their benefits in exchange for being allowed to stay in their homes. I see no evidence at all to suggest these people are actually working.

  2. paurina

    I wish you wouldn’t post pictures with your excellent comments about IDS. Otherwise, can’t fault you! Keep up the good work.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      I’m very sorry but I need to remind people who’s under discussion here! Just one look at that face and I’m sure the feelings must come flooding back.

  3. Nick

    The cap at £23000 is equal of two people working full time on or around the minimum wage which is far from ideal but as my wife does a very demanding full time job on £11000 per year the cap is reasonable otherwise my wife would be on the very outside of life in poverty and we need as a country to include her if possible
    My benefits and pension also come in at £11000 per year so we are as a couple are living on £1000 less than the cap

    1. Bill Kruse

      So how would you cope if you were a couple with children? Don’t forget, a couple taking home 23K with kids could very easily be getting housing benefit, child benefit etc. on top. They’d be getting those benefits because the government has decided they need them. How can a couple with kids not in work need any less? Anyway, where are these capped people supposed to live when rents go on increasing? Their only answer is to split up, one kid with mum, one with dad (or however many) and then the taxpayer has to find two sets of HB instead of one. This policy, like all Smith’s policies, will do nothing but cost the country money.

  4. Jim Round

    According to basic calculations on the entitledto website, a couple one of whom is looking for work gets £337 in total, including universal credit, child benefit and council tax support.
    If one partner works full time for the NMW, this rises to around £450 per week.
    The first calculation comes nowhere near £23000 a year and it has been mentioned many, many times that only a small minority of families have 5/6/7 etc children (we are not in the 19th century anymore, although some Tories would like us to be)
    It is interesting to read comments from both sides on the “war on welfare”
    People say they see benefit claimamts go from job centre to boozer, smoking and watching Sky TV and all that nonsense.
    Mention the amount lost through tax evasion, well that isn’t “seen” so to speak, whereas some people take great delight in telling you they see Sinbad/Shazzer boozing away his/her dole money everyday.
    Another point to all this is that very few people have a workable solution to tax evasion and the very small minority of Shazzers/Sinbads spunking their benefits in the boozer.

    1. david pearce

      Jim that leaves just over £100 pw rent before they breach the cap, in many areas down south you can’t rent a 2 bed for this. If they then bring in regional caps at lower then there will be problems even in areas with cheaper rents

      1. Jim Round

        They want “them” out of London, so it becomes a playground for the super rich, who then ship in cheap Labour, those who can multi-occupy houses and are easily manipulated.
        Does anyone have figures for the nunber of social houses built in London over the past 25 years?

  5. JohnDee

    I had a conversation once with a gentleman who complained of all the disabled scroungers in motorised wheelchairs in his area who were always getting drunk and causing trouble—’claimed that giving these people benefits to waste was crippling our country.

    However, when I asked him what he thought of the £130 billion embezzled by tax dodgers and other billions by bankers—he claimed he didn’t have an opinion because he didn’t know any bankers. Go figure!

    Personally, I believe people who have no knowledge of the issues have no right to vote (and should keep their malformed opinions to themselves). How hard could it be to set up online voting whereby one qualifies to vote on an issue by demonstrating some knowledge of the issue by answering a few simple multi-choice questions?

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      That’s a slippery slope. What’s to stop whoever sets those questions from setting the bar so high that only a few people can qualify for the vote, thereby ensuring a particular result?
      However, I agree that election by ignorance is not a good system either.

Comments are closed.