Changing benefits so people ‘get out what they put in’ can only reward the rich

"I'll squeeze them 'til the pips squeak!" Alternatively, Work and Pensions Secretary Damian Green may be saying something else about benefit claimants [Image: Ben Birchall/PA].

“I’ll squeeze them ’til the pips squeak!” Alternatively, Work and Pensions Secretary Damian Green may be saying something else about benefit claimants [Image: Ben Birchall/PA].


Here’s a wolf in sheep’s clothing.

The concept seems sound – revive the contributory principle for benefits so that people who put more into the system are able to take more out.

But any suggestion that it will benefit the poorest is a lie: Poor people don’t have extra money to contribute to the benefit system.

This seems like a front for further dismantling of benefits. A contributory scheme such as is suggested here could make way for a private insurance scheme very easily.

Does the public support that? Are we willing to pay regularly into insurance schemes that deplete our meagre savings and probably won’t pay out when we need the cash (look at the example of Unum in the United States)?

Sure, those who have worked longer deserve more support, but we already have a good, working principle on which our benefits are based.

It’s this: From each according to their abilities, to each according to their needs.

Ah, but you won’t see any Torygraph columnist repeating that, will you?

It was coined by Karl Marx.

There is now an opportunity for the Conservatives to build a popular and effective welfare system that adequately protects what Theresa May has called “ordinary working-class families” who are “just managing”.

There is a growing number of policymakers, inside and outside of Government, who believe the next stage of welfare reform should be to offer more “contributory benefits”.

The public are on side: an overwhelming majority believe that it is fair that those who have worked longer – who have put more into the system – deserve more support in testing times.

The new Government should introduce a Contribution Supplement to Universal Credit and the base rate of Statutory Maternity Pay, rewarding higher amounts to claimants with longer work histories.

The Government should also introduce tax-free, contributory top-up accounts for those on low incomes. Those who decide to use them would have some of their savings matched by government, and would be able to draw down from their account in challenging financial circumstances to top up existing welfare support from government.

Source: Conservatives should reform welfare on a simple principle: you get out what you put in

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9 thoughts on “Changing benefits so people ‘get out what they put in’ can only reward the rich

  1. Michael Broadhurst

    we have a contributory benefit system now,its called NATIONAL INSURANCE,so why are people being denied whats rightfully theirs in times of need.
    why are we paying it if we cant draw it when we need it ?
    this wants legally looking into.

  2. Jt Zoonie

    That’s what you get when you let Americans in. Even way back check out how the screwed amega.or the technology we gave them. Westland and now arm. And everything else we sold.
    Babbage and Tommy flowers would be spinning in there graves

  3. Barry Davies

    “The new Government should introduce a Contribution Supplement to Universal Credit and the base rate of Statutory Maternity Pay, rewarding higher amounts to claimants with longer work histories.” That means anyone who gets injured or becomes sick or disabled earlier than the retirement age will suffer. It is also not fair to women who are still the major care givers to parents and children.

  4. jeffrey davies

    you point out that cowboy company who were outlawed in 15 states in america look at the example of Unum in the United States) you say hmm they been over here now for a long time learning our insurance companies and government on how to swindle monies out of the peasants it wont be pretty site when we have people dying in the streets looking into that hospital for help sorry your policy isnt covering you for your stay at hospital please go away

  5. wildswimmerpete

    In my day we paid graduated contributions on top of our National Insurance should one earn above a certain threshold. I’m just looking at my pension statement, my graduated contributions added a few quid a week to my pension. However I don’t like the idea of those “Contribution Supplements to Universal Credit” – wide open to Governmental abuse. The old graduation contributions system was extremely complicated to administer so try to imagine the same happening to the train crash that’s Universal Credit.

  6. Harley

    Beveridge proposed the so-called “contributory principle” but couldn’t get it to work humanely. It was loved by NewLab types like Liz Kendall and Liam Byrne, remember him, the little fellow who proposed introducing regional benefits so that people living in poor areas could be paid less. It can’t work for the majority because poorer people who get into difficulty often need a lot more help than they pay in for while luckier, fitter, healthier people enjoying uninterrupted secure work need much less from the system or no help at all. I wonder what the net wheeze will be? More health care for people who pay more into the system than others? With bigger contributors queue jumping or accessing more expensive drugs and treatments than lower contributors?

    The thing to remember is that a fully contributory system has NEVER worked.

    Beveridge tried to implement it and fell flat on his face because the privation and suffering that would have resulted was unsupportable.

Comments are closed.