Tory Think Tank Gives The Game Away – Benefit Sanctions Are About Keeping Wages Low | the void

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Well done to Johnny Void for finding this:

A chilling vision of the future has been presented by Tory think-tank Reform who have called for all out of work sickness and disability benefits to be scrapped, even for the most seriously ill, alongside a Jobcentre programme of forced medical treatment.

In a report published this month Reform argue that paying those with serious health conditions more money than those simply on the dole acts as a disincentive to find employment.  Instead every claimant, no matter how unwell, should receive just over £70 a week, although they concede that this should be combined with an increase in Personal Independence Payments – the benefit paid to those either in or out of work which is intended to cover the additional costs of living with a disability.   Many people on out of work sickness benefits are not eligible for these payments however.

The report also calls for increased conditionality for sickness benefits including a mandatory occupational health plan.  This could involve a requirement to take up medical treatment with the threat of benefit sanctions for non-compliance.  Astionishingly this treatment plan would not be agreed with a claimant’s GP but would instead be drawn up by a ‘Healthcare Professional’ working under the supervision of an Occupational Health specialist.  Reform generously warn that sanctions would have to be carefully applied – they are opposed to people being sanctioned because they didn’t get better they claim – but elsewhere they raise the prospect of a sanction being inflicted because someone failed to follow the correct state-mandated diet.

The real reason for these proposals are not to help people but to save money and help Iain Duncan Smith acheive his aim of throwing one million people off sickness benefits by pretending that they aren’t really sick or disabled anymore…. Ensuring strict conditions for benefits helps keep down the ‘reservation wage’ – the minimum amount that people are prepared to work for.  The inference is clear, those on sickness benefits should be pushed into the lowest possible paid work as quickly as possible.  The only flimsy evidence available that work is good for your health is quite clear that this only applies if you have a good job.  Reform want to force sick and disabled people into work which is likely to be harmful as a lesson to the rest of us not to get ill in case we become unproductive and the profit that the rich glean from our work might fall slightly.

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18 thoughts on “Tory Think Tank Gives The Game Away – Benefit Sanctions Are About Keeping Wages Low | the void

  1. paulrutherford8

    If you like being horrified, subscribe to Reform’s weekly e-propaganda-letter.

    Interesting to note on their website – jobs may have been filled now – that they were advertising for ‘researchers’ who would be paid a whole £8.20 an hour.

    However, as IDS loves Reform, I think they are an ‘organisation’ that needs very careful watching… and serious critiques of their report-findings made very public indeed. They have some heavy-duty ‘sponsors’, all of whom, of course, want favourable research.

  2. George

    This is what the Tories are, and have always been, about: stealing from the poor and giving to the rich. Only this time round, 2010 onwards, they have managed to hide their true and cruel ideological assault on everyone except the wealthy under the huge lie of austerity. Stop believing this. Those who caused this should pay: the GREEDY bankers.

  3. lanzalaco

    The big problem is the Tories are pretty small minded when it comes to determining what is a contribution to society and this is whats holding us back in general, but thats more a facet of them trying to enforce out of date systems.

    Its social inclusion that should be stressed first for the disabled or underemployed, hard to employ etc… not financial contribution, at least not primarily. There are countless ways to contribute to society, but they are hard to keep a track off. Look how hard it is for the 3rd sector to produce accounting which can quantify economic effects.. although it can be done.. get to that in a minute. Money has the advantage that it could value tag everything and is simple, but we are in a different age now, where conventional jobs are diminishing. But at the same time the rise of widespread technology which has lead to this is also cheap and abundant and can empower citizens to put in place their own means to assess contribution to society.

    This is really the means to unravel the dead end the tories are in. They really dont have any ideas. They will do what they always do, drive everything into the ground until they get voted out for the Left. Always the same in UK, right, left, right left. All this swinging back and forwards is no good, as its constant instability.

  4. lanzalaco

    But in answer to is work really good for you. Well its a mixed bag and of course there is no blanket answer It depends on the situation, the work, implementation, personalities, etc, etc.. However a lot of the research we are discussing here is overtly politicized, in that is often referring to a section of society the tories think have ingrained psychological resistance. I have some friends who do have ingrained psychological resistance, they have no concept of contribution to society, and resist that automatically but they will work for themselves if they can get away with it, often on the side.

    And its a source of conflict for me with them, they think the world exists to pay them benefits and they have little interest in the world. FACT, this does exist, because I so it, but does it exist to a large enough degree, or is over politicized ?

    Well not something I know about, it needs researched. But the left wing is just as guilty because they get engaged in blanket denial, it really needs some quality research thats independent of both left and right wing politics, but who will pay ? I have worked on a government work research related project (older age motivation), and yes they do want a positive punchline. However the body of work itself usually contains the truth, and most researchers are liberal anyway.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      I notice you’ve just engaged in a blanket condemnation of “the left wing” with its “blanket denial”.
      I don’t know how you can suggest that.
      There isn’t any “blanket denial” in the left wing. We know that some people do commit benefit fraud – 0.7 per cent of the benefit-claiming population.
      We have evidence that people think 27 per cent of the welfare budget is claimed fraudulently – http://voxpoliticalonline.com/2013/01/07/the-benefit-cap-will-happen-but-we-dont-need-to-believe-the-tories-big-lie/ – but that seems entirely due to misreporting in the right-wing media.

      1. lanzalaco

        well ok, so different voices say different things… but this again comes back to my original point about right left politics and drama vs facts. When politics is split into left and right reality gets distorted, because both extremes attract a lot of baggage which tends to do that. Right wing distortion is manipulative and coercive, while left wing distortion generates confusion, mush and naive magical thinking. i.e. Result of most communist societies.

        The aim of all politics these days should be to build balanced centre style politics that dont swing back and forth, But there is little incentive, because we are all addicted to this crazy swing drama the way it is,because its too much fun to be fighting in one of these extremes.

        Anyway, the good news is that both main parties are more balanced than they ever were, and in some ways liberal.. it is progress I suppose

      2. Mike Sivier Post author

        What do you call centre-style politics, though?
        A Tory would say it’s a neoliberal economy (not free market) with no regulation of the “money makers”.
        A Labour member would say it’s a balanced economy, with nationalised industries providing cheap utilities such as power and water, and regulation of private industry to ensure that the “money makers” don’t rip off the people who rely on them.
        And you?

  5. lanzalaco

    If we lived in a stable society that was more varied in political spectrum s around the center, with lots of interesting coalitions and not constantly swinging back to right and left wing so often things would be a LOT better and so would society. Thats the real problem in the UK, we think going from pillar to post left and right is ok. Both on their own are extremely flawed ideologies, almost everybody realizes that, although political people wont admit it publicly of course. But look at the house of commons, its setup for left vs right drama, so these parties create the drama, which generates left right wing crisis. Each one of these crisis makes society react to vote the other party, which keeps out the other varieties of political thinking, and so on round and round. All this mass and continuous ongoing political dysfunction does is put society in a constantly unstable state, wasting resources, and as a result systems are constantly in turmoil and never settle into conceiving of, never mind implementing the long term planning required for more effective societies. Now look at northern European countries, they dont swing from Left to right like this, only sometimes. They have more mixed politics, more stable economies and more egalitarian societies. As a result of this they can make 10-20 year plans without left or right extremes cobbling them every other term or two.

  6. Dez

    I guess the only flaw in yet another manic cunning plan from the new Nazi party is like the bedroom tax (ie there were no alternative smaller flats) or in this case where are these supposed jobs waiting to be filled?. Employers are very picky as to who they employ no matter how much they are bribed. These same brainless Cons disbanded many of the disabled work centres that helped folk get back softly into working environments. Maybe having the protection of the EU against these gross tyrants, already preparing their takeover of the UK, is the way forward.

  7. e saul

    i tjhought i had heard just about everything until this how low can he go he doesnt need vast camps like austwitz just keep up the pressure on the sick and ill among us no way this man is christian i just cant believe how this can happen mind you the natzis started somewhere and people supported them i all i can say mike is one day he will pay for what he has done he seems to have got through his charmed life but one day justice will be done hopefully in a courtroom

    1. lanzalaco

      Ian Duncan smith displays signs of Grandiose Narcissism. That is a serious mental disorder. Narcissists have a simple hierarchical view of life where they have to express their insecurities onto lower members of the social hierarchy in a power relationship that is primarily emotional rather than rational. The lower members become a servant of their whims and woe betide them if they answer back or do not comply. Policies will be generated to punish non compliance, even if they are ineffective for the original political aims, because its become about revenge primarily. Now the question is why are such people leading our nations. When Tony Blair was in power leading us into Iraq with his Narcissism, IDS was the opposition leader.. Why are we the people voting in narcissists should be the real big issue..

  8. Ken Baldry

    No one is really addressing the problem that most jobs are going to disappear in the next few decades. Expecting people to work for a living will become fruitless. I’m retired now but, as an uber-geek, I killed off plenty of jobs. As for work, I do a lot but it’s not paid. Work does indeed make you free but not necessarily as a source of income. That said, I’m sure IDS would like to gas all those expensive claimants on their National Insurance (not ‘benefits’).

    1. lanzalaco

      exactly, that is the big point.. Most people can and do want to contribute to society in some way, but not everybody is so self motivated as a typical nerd. How to keep track of the massive variety of non financial contributions could help reduce Tory anxiety. Anxiety which is based upon real pressures, such as the deals they have to do with banks and international monetary systems.

      Money was originally developed as a simplification for value tagging complicated systems, but with current technology we actually dont require it be that simple these days ! I would love to have time to develop a plan for implementing new forms of technology to augment traditional global monetary economic markers. Some type of construct with many categories of new markers more geared to the local systems in the UK, for example in the voluntary sector they are trying to develop methods to keep track of how they support and augment our society, and there are reports written on that subject. If that were developed further this could then be extended to individuals. Composite scores made from all types of social contribution could be assessed, and given as a citizens rating.

      If we get rid of this insane requirement to tag everything with GBP numbers, only those who are really very sick or very dysfunctional would not gain some type of composite rating. The unemployed wouldn’t have to feel so worthless or disengaged if nobody wants to or can afford to pay them anything with the tag GBP…. too simple and not practical anymore !

  9. astronavis

    Its obvious by now that the banks and the government s are corrupt , so its time for change . No need for the twisted desire to jail the bankers in small boxes like they do to us , instead they need to simply acknowledge the fact that they have created an enslavement trap for their own people for financial gains . then create a set payment plan for people that eliminates the scrounging part and instead gives a set amount of money to everyone working or not . Universal payment . That way , their is no bottom of the barrel , people can breathe and relax knowing they are safe from eviction giving them time to either recover from an illness or generate steam to take off and choose a better job instead of taking jobs run by the twisted . this will prevent us going back into the work house system ,also the ones with ambition can start a business .. Thats if the government and banks actually want the country to grow and prosper with healthy workers . If not then just carry on heading for the gutter and hide the homeless away from sight .

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