Work and Pensions Secretary – and Tory ‘useful idiot’ – Damian Green has said he wants more private firms involved in the social security system – despite the clear dangers demonstrated by recent attempts.
It is only a few weeks since private US firm Concentrix had to be stripped of a contract investigating tax credit fraud for HM Revenue and Customs, after it wrongly stripped thousands of people of the money they were due.
May we assume that this firm was on a payment-by-results contract that would encourage it into fraud?
He was giving his speech at a conference hosted by the right-wing Reform think tank, which wants to reduce public spending and tax to the levels of Ireland and Australia (around 35 per cent of GDP). What’s wrong with increasing GDP so the current – or a greater – amount of spending becomes a smaller proportion of it?
Reform would cut tax in order to allow UK citizens to spend more money on their own and their families’ future social security needs, claiming this would obtain more efficient, high-quality services. Don’t all laugh at once!
And Reform is very keen on cutting what it calls “pensioner gimmicks” like the winter fuel payment that prevents senior citizens from having to choose between heating and eating. These people are not very nice!
Mr Green said:
“To achieve a successful welfare system in the 21st century you need to give more decision-making power to individuals, and give more trust to the voluntary sector and private organisations to deliver services.”
There is no evidence to support these wild claims. In fact, the example of Concentrix shows private organisations are entirely unworthy of our trust in such matters.
Furthermore, individuals on low pay, faced with a choice between eating now, or having a pension/benefit payment at some time in the future, must always choose to service the immediate need. Survival is the first order of business. Mr Green’s assertion is based on a false assumption that people have spare cash.
“The government is a necessary, but not sufficient provider of welfare. It can, and does, act as the guarantor of fairness within the welfare system to set the rules. It can also provide the backbone of the assistance system through more than 700 Jobcentre Plus offices.
We have seen that a Conservative Government is no such thing. Is the Work Capability Assessment, that governs ESA and PIP eligibility, fair? No. It has caused thousands of deaths – both recorded and unadmitted. Is the Jobseekers’ Allowance system fair? No. It demands that claimants waste their time meeting silly requirements when they could be doing something meaningful.
“What it must not try to do is assume that it can provide all the help necessary.”
What does he mean by this? The Department for Work and Pensions does not currently provide any meaningful “help”. It persecutes.
He added: “The first principle is that a welfare state is not enough – we need a welfare system, involving many players – health professionals, employers large and small, a whole range of voluntary organisations.
No. This is a guaranteed route to a corrupt system in which the citizens of the UK are simply there to be exploited by the private sector.
“The second is that for most people the purpose of the welfare system is to help them get into work, stay in work, and progress in work. We should offer work for those who can, and help for those who could.
We have already seen that help is not supplied by the Conservative DWP. As for work – zero-hour contracts, part-time jobs and insecure placements that all force people to claim in-work benefits? No, thank you.
“The third is that we should offer care for the minority who can’t work. Whether through sickness, disability or personal circumstances, there will always be some who simply need help to get through their daily lives.”
And we have seen that there is no care for people who cannot work. Once again, Damian Green has lied about society’s most vulnerable.
No wonder Labour’s Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary, Debbie Abrahams, described his words as “beyond ridiculous”.
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