Category Archives: council tax

Cummings council tax: a form letter for your local authority

Where he belongs: but Dominic Cummings (and his family) seem able to get away with anything because of his connection with Boris Johnson.

The family of Dominic Cummings has been allowed to avoid paying historical council tax on several properties built on their land without planning permission, it has been revealed.

What a great opportunity for the rest of us!

It seems clear that every other council taxpayer in the UK should write to their local authority’s council tax department, demanding appropriately similar treatment. The text could run something like this:

To whom it may concern,

I read with pleasure that a family in Durham has received an effective Council Tax rebate of £30,000. What a boost for them in these Covid-19-blighted times – and on properties without planning permission, too!

write to request delivery of my own council tax rebate. While I accept that this may be adjusted down according to the council tax band in which my dwelling falls, I expect I must be due a considerable amount more than the family in Durham – because my dwelling does have planning permission.

It has occurred to me that the rebate may not be applied to my area, but only to families in Durham – but that would make no sense, would it? Why would one area receive preferential treatment? We’re all in this together, after all – or at least, that’s what we’re told!

I look forward to your reply by return of post, stating the amount of rebate to which I am due for my property, along with notification of the transfer to my bank.

Alternatively, you’d better be able to explain why a wealthy family of lawbreakers is being rewarded, rather than punished, for breaking planning laws and hiding the fact for 18 years, when the rest of us have to pay.

With regards,

(And so on.)

The injustice is clear – just think about Melanie Woolcock, the single mother who defaulted on her council tax because she wasn’t well enough to work and the Tory benefit system paid so little that she could not afford to pay the amount outstanding and buy food.

She was arrested for non-payment of £4,742 in council tax – less than one-sixth of what Cummings’s family is said to have owed – and forced to serve an 81-day prison sentence.

Between her and the Cummings family, who do you think deserves leniency?

It’s not even up for question, is it? Yet in Boris Johnson’s Britain, his adviser’s rich family walk free while the sick woman went to jail for the crime of being poor.

This latest scandal has sparked a wave of outrage – and a few alternative proposals:

Source: Dominic Cummings allowed to avoid backdated council tax on second home | Politics | The Guardian

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Like so many others, this latest DWP tragedy is heartbreaking – and preventable

Carol Jones was more than £2,000 in debt when she died of cancer, because the Department for Work and Pensions had stopped all of her benefits.

Ms Jones, 65, who had been fighting liver cancer for two years, had been admitted to the Royal Stoke University Hospital in May and then a Leek care home before losing her fight for life last week.

She had not received any of the DWP’s correspondence and had therefore been unable to respond to it.

Fortunately her twin brother David Agar discovered the debt – and the cause of it – and was able to rectify matters.

But this could have happened to an uncountable number of seriously-ill benefit claimants. Perhaps it already has.

The DWP’s comment to the Stoke Sentinel is despicable – and puts the problem in perspective: “We do not stop benefits because people are in hospital.”

That wasn’t the problem. The problem was the fact that Ms Jones, who lived alone, had not been asked to provide details of anybody else who could have handled her affairs.

Several members of This Writer’s own family have undergone treatment for cancer and I know that – successful or not – it can totally incapacitate a person.

If that happens, they need someone else to take over matters that concern them – for the period they are unable to cope themselves.

The DWP needs to accept this, and to ensure that details of such a person are discussed in claims for sickness and/or disability benefits.

That would prevent debts from stacking up that a deceased person would likely leave to their relatives, and which may drive a survivor to the grave after all.

It seems only common sense. Why hasn’t the DWP implemented it already?

Source: ‘How can someone that ill have their benefits stopped?’ – Terminally-ill Carol racks up £2k debt just weeks before she dies after DWP withdraws support – Stoke-on-Trent Live

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The argument for intervening in Syria is … not strong enough

I have maintained an open mind. I have listened very carefully to the case that the prime minister has made for military action, I have listened to colleagues in parliament, sought independent advice and expertise, and considered the 50 or so representations made by people from Ilford North, my constituency. The question for me is whether extending airstrikes into Syria is both in our national interest and in the interest of innocent civilians in Syria.

We need a comprehensive strategy to bring about an end to the Syrian civil war and defeat Isis. For me, this must include:

• A successful diplomatic effort to secure a stable and orderly transition from a President Assad-led Syrian government to a national government that includes the religious, ethnic and political diversity of the Syrian population. Russian influence here will be critical.

• A coordinated humanitarian response to the devastation and displacement affecting the Syrian people.

• A major programme of reconstruction to help the Syrians rebuild their country.

• A military response to defeat Isis, with ground forces drawn from the region (not the US or UK) with the international community providing relevant support – including from the air.

I do not think the case for urgent and immediate UK military involvement in airstrikes, ahead of the conclusion of the diplomatic efforts to bring an end to the Syrian civil war, has been made.

On this basis, it is very likely that I will vote against military action in a Commons vote..

Source: The argument for intervening in Syria is strong – but not strong enough | Wes Streeting | Comment is free | The Guardian

The SNP’s great poverty betrayal

Scotland's economic disaster [Image: SNPfail - it's a Liberal Democrat-run site but the figures are accurate].

Scotland’s economic disaster [Image: SNPfail – it’s a Liberal Democrat-run site but the figures are accurate].

The poorest Scottish people are losing public services due to a Council Tax freeze by the SNP-run Scottish government, while £1 billion provided by the Westminster government to alleviate poverty has been used to patch over cuts in local authority budgets.

Scotland’s 32 local authorities have still racked up a record £12-15 billion worth of debt as a result of the council tax freeze – but the SNP still claims it is a socialist party, and still claims it is economically responsible.

The SNP has kept council tax frozen every year since it took power in Holyrood in 2007. The party claims this helps all households – but of course it helps some more than others. The richer you are, the more you have to pay if council tax is increased, while the increase on poorer people is less. Therefore, if council tax is frozen, the rich see more benefit from it. Add in the fact that average wages have been stagnant for almost the entire period of the Scottish council tax freeze and is becomes clear that poorer people have seen little or no benefit at all.

Meanwhile, council services that benefit everybody are being harmed, with 50,000 jobs lost since the freeze was imposed and another 60,000 set to go.

Scotland’s local councils have borrowed billions of pounds to help survive the swingeing budget cuts from the Scottish government – and now owe more than twice as much per head than English and Welsh local authorities, equal to debts of £6,166 per household, compared with £3,100 per home in England and £2,825 per household in Wales.

And rather than spend £1 billion of money from Westminster on alleviating poverty – as intended – the SNP gave it to councils who used it to lessen their borrowing requirements. There was no scrutiny or management of how the money was spent.

The SNP is increasing poverty among the Scottish people, while continuing with giveaways to high-earners – there can be no doubt about that.

Yet that party is still claiming support from more than half the Scottish electorate. How?

Surely Scottish people are more intelligent than that.

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The SNP’s great education betrayal

Some facts about education in Scotland. SNPfail is a Liberal Democrat site but the information is accurate.

Some facts about education in Scotland. SNPfail is a Liberal Democrat site but the information is accurate.

That’s right – betrayal. For all its bluster about free University tuition, the SNP government at Holyrood seems more interested in providing cheap education for the already-well-off than helping the disadvantaged achieve their potential.

Holyrood abolished tuition fees for Scottish universities – but who did that help? According to research by Edinburgh University in 2013, it helped those who were already wealthy.

The report on widening access to higher education was submitted to the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) after Ferdinand von Prondzynski, the university principal hand-picked by SNP ministers to review higher education, said abolishing tuition fees has mainly benefited the middle classes.

The report found the lack of fees in Scotland has meant initiatives to widen access have had “lower priority” and less funding.

The amount of grants available to poorer Scots has fallen and the funding packages offered north of the Border are virtually the same, regardless of the student’s wealth.

Meanwhile, there has been a huge drop in the number of students attending colleges since the SNP came to power in Holyrood and inflicted “savage spending cuts”, axing part-time courses which MSPs derided as “hobby courses”. The figures came from the Scottish Funding Council and show that 130,000 college places and teaching staff have been lost.

Those most affected by the cuts are young people who are less academic and are looking for vocational qualifications, and women returners – it was said that 100,000 fewer women were in education as a result of the SNP’s cuts.

And almost 4,000 teachers have been lost since the SNP took office in 2007. The party froze council tax that year, meaning local authorities were forced to make cuts in their spending.

As a result, instead of reducing class sizes to 18, the loss of enough teachers to fill 50 average-sized secondary schools has pushed class sizes to more than 30.

Again, the well-off are the winners. They benefit more from the council tax freeze because it leaves them with more disposable income; lower earners still have to spend most – if not all – of their income on the bills. And wealthy parents can afford to supplement their children’s education with extra, private, tuition – or opt out of the state system altogether and send them to private school.

So the SNP’s education policy is to penalise the poor and reward the rich. So much for that party’s left-wing credentials!

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Tories plan benefit system massacre

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The headline is no joke. Based on the plans revealed by the BBC, if the Conservative Party is re-elected in May, all but the richest of us can look forward to the death of a loved one – perhaps many loved ones.

They’ll have to hang signs over entry points into the UK: “Conservative Britain, 2015-2020: Abandon Hope All Ye Who Enter Here”. At least now we know why David Cameron was determined not to reveal any details of the proposals to cut £12 billion from the benefits budget.

Chequebook euthanasia play a prominent role, and it is clear that the plan is to push as many benefit claimants into destitution as possible while encouraging suicidal thoughts. It has already worked with many people on Employment and Support Allowance; they want to spread their version of Aktion T4 more widely.

Top of the proposals is the replacement of the Industrial Injuries Compensation Scheme with an insurance policy provided by companies. Any not doing so would become members of a default national industrial injuries scheme, similar to the programme for asbestos sufferers. This is the long-anticipated arrival of private health insurance in the British benefit system; we have been expected this ever since Peter Lilley invited the criminal American firm Unum into the then-Department of Social Security in the 1990s. Vox Political predicts that nobody taking out such insurance will ever receive a payout on it; it will be run by Unum.

The DWP predicts that £1 billion will be cut from the benefits budget. The human cost might be significantly higher, especially when you consider the following:

Carer’s Allowance may be restricted to those caring for somebody eligible for Universal Credit. We know already that Universal Credit has been designed to prevent genuinely sick and disabled people from receiving their benefit, and that Universal Credit doesn’t work; this attack on their carers will tip both deep into poverty. Leaked documents suggest about 40 per cent of carers would lose their payments, despite the fact that they genuinely need the money.

The DWP hopes to cut another £1 billion from its bills with this. As it ties in with current chequebook euthanasia programmes, expect many thousands of deaths.

Employment and Support Allowance and Job Seekers Allowance claimants may be denied the privileges that should be afforded to them by virtue of having paid enough National Insurance contributions; your record will not count if you claim these benefits. The plan here is to cut benefits for more than 300,000 families – by around £80 per week. Those on ESA may have carers who will also lose their benefit, therefore we can conclude that this is another planned area of chequebook euthanasia.

Disability Living Allowance, Personal Independence Payments and Attendance Allowance (for over 65s who have personal care needs) would be taxed in order to cut payments by around £1.5 billion a year (based on IFS Green Budget calculation ). Many of those claiming these benefits will also be claiming ESA and will have carers as well, so chequebook euthanasia – again – applies. Who knows how many will live to see the 2020 general election if the Tories gain another term in May?

Council Tax Support may be incorporated into Universal Credit. This blog is prepared to be corrected on this, but wouldn’t that mean the Welsh Assembly and the Scottish Parliament (and the Northern Irish Assembly if it runs a relief scheme) would be unable to pay the council tax demanded under the Pickles Poll Tax that came in after Council Tax Benefit was scrapped? This would cut funds to claimants of ESA, JSA, DLA, PIP, AA, carers, and those claiming Housing Benefit and therefore – again – the government is opening itself to accusations of chequebook euthanasia.

Child Benefit may be limited to the first two children in any family. How nice that the Tories may be planning to spring this on families without enough prior warning. This writer would suggest that 18 years’ warning is necessary, to clear the books of people who could reasonably have expected child benefit to be paid as it always has. What about those having triplets? Apparently little would be trimmed from the benefit budget at first, but up to £1 billion might be kept, every year, in the long term.

Regional Benefit Caps – instead of £26,000, the Tories are planning to cut its already-too-low Benefit Cap to £23,000 – and then vary it still further in different parts of the UK. Londoners would receive the top amount due to the higher cost of living; people in rural areas could be forced out of their homes by this.

The leaked documents were prepared by civil servants and commissioned by Conservative Party officials.A spokeswoman for Iain Duncan Smith, the architect of previous state-sponsored pogroms against the poor, sick and disabled, told the BBC: “This is ill informed and inaccurate speculation… Officials spend a lot of time generating proposals – many not commissioned by politicians… It’s wrong and misleading to suggest that any of this is part of our plan.”

In other words, this will definitely happen if the Conservatives are elected in May.

This blog has made much of Labour’s own failure to plan the scrapping of the homicidal Work Capability Assessment if that party is elected into office in May (the other parties’ plans aren’t as important; they won’t be running a government for the next five years). Labour is still wrong to inflict it on people who have illnesses and disabilities through no fault of their own.

However, faced with a choice between the Tories’ certain death and Labour’s possible death, the decision should be obvious.

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How can the unemployed PAY for appeals against refusal of benefit?

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It’s the latest election-losing plan from the Conservative Party.

Leaked documents from the Department for Work and Pensions have revealed plans to charge benefit claimants whose claims have been stopped, if they want to appeal against the decision to an independent judge.

These are people who – by definition – have no money.

How are they supposed to pay?

The answer is, of course, they’re not. This is a plan to push people off of benefit altogether. They’re not expected to find the money to pay for an appeal; they are expected to go away. Then the DWP can enjoy the JSA benefit saving and shortly after – when the claimant loses his or her home, due to failure to keep up rent/mortgage payments, the DWP can enjoy the Housing Benefit saving as well.

What vile pervert could devise a plan that corrupts the benefit system in such a way?

The answer is, of course, the same one who has been corrupting it since he took over in 2010 – Iain Duncan Smith.

No politician in his or her right mind could propose such a move and expect to win an election on it.

Perhaps this is why the document had to be leaked from the DWP.

At least we all know, now.

This is how the Conservative Party reduces benefit claimant figures.

Getting people into jobs has been abandoned – too much like work.

Finding an excuse to push them off-benefit is the new fashion – and fraud or error is the name of the game.

It is worth noting that The Guardian – to which newspaper this information was leaked – has provided figures on the number of benefit refusals currently being overturned.

We know that 0.7 per cent of benefits are currently awarded wrongly, due to fraud or error. According to The Guardian, no less than 58 per cent of benefit refusals that were taken to tribunal have been overturned as erroneous or fraudulent.

That’s 82 times the amount of fraudulent or erroneous claims!

The Conservatives want to hush this up by making it impossible for poor people to appeal against these fraudulent or mistaken decisions.

Don’t give them the chance.

Make a decision that will benefit you.

Deny the Tories your vote on May 7.

Afterword: It has been brought to this writer’s attention that the story on which this article is based is a year old. People are talking about it now, however – probably because someone has shared it without looking at the year of publication (this is easily done). Therefore this article will not be taken down; it seems this is a worthy subject for discussion, as we do not currently know what horrors the Conservatives are planning, should they win the election in May.

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‘In Memory of My Pop a WWI Soldier, who Fought for Honesty and Freedom’

 

Entrenched: Like the soldiers of WWI, our political leaders' thinking hasn't moved forward in decades - that's why they think it's all right to impose policies that lead to thousands of deaths.

Entrenched: Like the soldiers of WWI, our political leaders’ thinking hasn’t moved forward in decades – that’s why they think it’s all right to impose policies that lead to thousands of deaths.

Jayne Linney’s latest blog post starts off by discussing her relationship with her ‘Pop’, victim of a rogue grenade in World War I who spent much of his later life in surgery having shrapnel removed; clearly the centenary of the war has stirred memories.

As such, this piece might have been lightweight fluff to read and pass without comment. However…

Jayne writes: “We had endless discussions about right and wrong. I like to think he really heard me when I argued for Equality, but maybe he indulged me as his only grandchild, either way he listened, and even when we disagreed he never shot me down; he taught me to debate and for this, and everything else he was to me, I adored him.”

She continues: “Despite the pain he lived with for the next 70 years, he always demanded Truth; whether this be because he lived with the fact he suffered as a result of the lies sold by the ruling classes I can’t say, but knowing him I can’t help but think this is so.”

Now we come to the point: “In this week as I especially remember Pop, I read that  Lord Freud  has been proven to have Lied AGAIN, joining Mark Hoban, Esther McVey and Mike Penning  to become the Fourth DWP Minster to have Made the SAME LIE – Impact Assessment are Impossible.”

[This refers to the Conservative Party’s oft-repeated and utterly discredited claim that it is impossible to carry out an assessment of the cumulative impact caused by the Coalition’s many changes (we don’t dignify them with the label ‘reforms’) to the British system of social security. In fact, some organisations have already carried out unofficial assessments of their own, and one organisation that the government often uses for statistical work – I forget which one – has made it clear that it would like to carry out exactly such an assessment.]

“This default position of Lying when proven incorrect is unacceptable. The reality is the lies politicians spew out today are resulting in pain as did those told 100 years ago; and albeit in much lesser numbers, people are still dying as a result of the policies they lie about.”

Yes indeed. Look how far our Conservative and Liberal politicians have progressed since 1914. They’ve hardly moved forward at all – just like the trench warfare that spilled the blood of a generation 100 years ago.

Now they’re merrily spilling the blood of a new generation – and once again justifying it with lies.

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More smears from the Mail against UN official who is trying to help the poor

The victim: Raquel Rolnik, the United Nations' expert Special Rapporteur on Housing is once again the victim of a baseless Daily Mail smear piece.

The victim: Raquel Rolnik, the United Nations’ expert Special Rapporteur on Housing is once again the victim of a baseless Daily Mail smear piece.

Yet again, the Daily Heil has been using the tactics of its best friend Adolf Hitler – the ‘Big Lie’ – to attack a United Nations official whose job is to point out that Coalition government policies are harming the innocent poor.

The Flail‘s tone was Nurembergian – and almost entirely fact-free – as it denounced ‘Brazil Nut’ Raquel Rolnik for imaginary crimes against Iain Duncan Smith’s benefit cuts – the homicidal, if not genocidal, measures that are driving hundreds of thousands of people into destitution and despair.

You see, the Fail is fine with destitution and despair for the poor – its readers are all rich middle- or upper-class housewives who pass their days spending their husbands’ vast fortunes (this is not entirely true, but is exactly the sort of generalisation you can expect from that paper. If you are a Mail reader, it isn’t such fun when you’re the victim, is it?) and gossiping.

The news story is that a group of United Nations poverty ambassadors has written a 22-page letter pointing out that cuts to social security benefits introduced by Iain Duncan Smith and enforced by his Department for Work and Pensions on behalf of the Coalition government may constitute a breach of the UK’s international treaty obligations to the poor.

The letter is new but its factual information is not, having been confirmed by the Council of Europe.

The letter states: “The package of austerity measures enacted could amount to retrogressive measures prohibited under the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, ratified in 1974.”

Among the benefit changes it highlights are alterations to housing benefit, council tax benefit, working age benefits and the bedroom tax and the benefits cap – which everybody agrees would be a good idea if it had been limited to a reasonable amount, rather than one at which the Conservative-led Coalition could throw people into hardship.

The Mail‘s report pays little attention to the facts, lavishing far more space on Mrs Rolnik herself. It said she had been nicknamed the ‘Brazil Nut’, which she had – by the Daily Mail; and went on to attempt to cast doubt on her authority as special rapporteur on housing and those of fellow UN ambassadors Maria Magdalena Sepulveda Carmona, special rapporteur on extreme poverty; and Olivier De Schutter, the special rapporteur on the right to food.

These are experts in their field who have been engaged by the United Nations – a higher-ranking legal authority than the UK – to investigate government policies, but that’s not good enough for the Mail.

It prefers to get its opinions from tupenny-ha’penny Tory thinktanks.

So it casts doubt. The letter is from ‘ambassadors’ and follows an ‘investigation’, according to the Mail, because putting those words in that way casts doubt upon their validity.

Mrs Rolnik was brought up as a Marxist, the Mail states – as if that has anything to do with her findings. And the report claims she should leave the UK alone and concentrate on problems in her own country, where millions of people live in shanty towns – even though the writer, ‘Jason Groves’, should know perfectly well that her job involves just that.

He clearly doesn’t want you to see her comments on housing in Brazil, prior to the football World Cup which is being held there at the moment: “We expected that the champion of many football cups would use this opportunity to show the world it is also a champion of the right to housing, in particular for people living in poverty, but the information I have received shows otherwise.”

She had received allegations of evictions without due process or in breach of international human rights standards, cases in which residents and citizens had not been consulted and were barred from to participation in decisions that had a grave impact on their standard of living. Concerns had also been expressed about very low compensation that might lead to the creation of new “informal settlements” (shanty towns) with inadequate living conditions or greater rates of homelessness.

“Authorities should avoid at all costs any negative impacts on then human rights of the individuals and communities, especially the most vulnerable… [and] should ensure that their actions, and those of third parties involved in the organization of the events, contribute to the creation of a stable housing market and have a long term positive impact in the residents of the cities where events take place.”

So critics who think she has ignored issues in her home country are wrong.

That’s a bit of a blow to the Mail‘s credibility, isn’t it?

The measures criticised by Mrs Rolnik and her colleagues were brought in “to tackle the huge budget deficit left by Labour”, according to the Mail. Again, this is wrong. The Coalition government has made no real effort to tackle the budget deficit which was necessitated when Labour saved our banking system, the threat having been created by Tory-supporting bankers whose greed put their firms into overwhelming debt. Look at the annual deficit for the last financial year; it is still well above £100 billion. If you agree that the cuts were to bring the deficit down, you have swallowed a lie.

Iain Duncan Smith, the man this blog describes as ‘RTU’ (standing for ‘Returned To Unit’ in tribute to his failed Army career) is reportedly furious at this intervention from the United Nations, which has a duty to intervene if governments of member countries descend into criminality, as has happened with the UK (here’s just one example).

Vox Political has reported extensively on this matter and his arguments carry about as much weight as his retrospective Jobseekers (Back to Work Schemes) Act. Take a look at Mrs Rolnik’s report on housing in the UK and the research that supported what she said and then ask yourself if Mr …Smith has got a leg to stand on.

According to the Mail, he said: “They talk down our country, criticising the action we’ve taken to get control of the public finances and create a fairer more prosperous Britain. They simply do not have a clue – and we will not be taking lessons from a group of unelected commentators who can’t get their facts straight.”

“Unelected” and “Can’t get their facts straight” are both criticisms that could be applied with more accuracy to Mr …Smith and his government.

In fact.

Additional: Here’s some more information about Iain Duncan Smith playing fast and loose with statistics, just in today.

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Public money is being thrown away on government-contracted scroungers

workprogramme1

It turns out that some people really do get to lie around all day, doing nothing apart from watching the money rolling in.

Bloody scroungers.

I’m sorry to swear – and you know I’m not usually rude – but these Work Programme provider companies really get my goat.

The revelation that companies such as Ingeus, A4e and Working Links were getting undeserved ‘incentive’ money (see also the BBC’s article), rather than being paid by results as has been claimed loudly and repeatedly by Tory ministers and backbenchers, is nothing new to Vox Politicalwe first pointed out the problem in November 2012, more than 18 months ago.

You see, not only has this been going on ever since the Coalition government established welfare-to-work in its current form –

Not only have government ministers and backbenchers been lying to you about the payouts given to the profit-driven privately-owned provider companies –

Not only have these companies been sucking down on your hard-earned taxpayer cash as though they had done something to earn it –

But the people they were supposed to be helping – people who have been forced into ever-greater poverty by the benefit uprating cap, arbitrary and unfair benefit sanctions, the bedroom tax, the £26,000 cap on benefits for families, the imposition of council tax on even the poorest households (in England at least), the stress of continual reassessment (if they are ESA claimants in the work-related activity group), the humiliation of having to visit food banks and who knows what else…

The people who are desperate to get any kind of paying job, despite the fact that zero-hours contracts could make them worse-off than unemployment, due to the effect on in-work benefits, despite the fact that those in-work benefits are also being squeezed hard, and despite the fact that there are at least five jobseekers for every job that becomes available…

These are the people that government ministers, backbenchers and the right-wing press keep victimising with their endless attacks on “skivers”, “scroungers”, the “feckless”, the “idle” and the “lazy”!

If I was unemployed and my MP had been caught slagging me off while praising these good-for-nothing so-called work programme ‘providers’, I would make it my business to bring them before the public, lock them into some medieval stocks and pelt them with rotten vegetables. Public humiliation is the least they should get for this continual insult to common decency.

But wait! There’s more.

It turns out that, not only are these work programme providers a bunch of lazy good-for-nothing parasites, but many of them are also a bunch of foreigners who’ve come to the UK to take our jobs!

Ingeus is Australian. G4S is part-Danish. Maximus is American.

It seems that all the politically-fuelled and media-driven anger against immigration into the UK from the rest of the European Union and beyond may be designed to distract us all from the fact that foreign firms are immigrating here to take government jobs that should be yours, and to steal your tax money.

Nobody can say they’ve earned it, after all.

But let us not be unfair. It would be wrong to concentrate on welfare-to-work providers when all of government is riddled with foreign interlopers.

Look at the Treasury, where the ‘Big Four’ accountancy firms have been re-writing tax law to suit their tax-avoiding corporate clients for the last few years. They are Deloitte (American), PriceWaterhouseCoopers (part-American), Ernst & Young (part-American) and KPMG (Dutch).

And then there is the huge, criminal, foreign firm that has been advising the Department for Work and Pensions on ways to privatise the welfare state since the mid-1990s – a firm so controversial that there is currently a moratorium on the mention of its name in the national mainstream media. It is an American insurance giant called Unum.

The best that can be said of these five corporations is that – at least to the best of our knowledge – they do work for a living.

… In their own interest – not yours.

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