Saturday, 11 September 2010

Bleeding Osborne

I'm not given to writing about the bleeding obvious, but occasionally it's irresistable, for example when it comes to the coalition government.

I've just been listening to Any Questions and Any Answers (why do I do it?), much of which was dedicated to missing the point about Osborne's remarks on the benefits lifestyle choice. Plenty of ludicrous anecdotes, for example about a family who are buying a house for cash out of their accumulated benefits (rather than, say, being criminals for whom claiming dole is a necessary front, etc.). And plenty of protests that most people on the dole have not elected to live in poverty, and even one mention of the fairly stringent regime currently in operation that requires everyone on the dole to satisfy the Jobcentre that they are indeed seeking work, no matter how statistically unlikely it may that they will get any.

But no real focus on the key issues:

(1) the welfare budget cut of 4bn has not been calculated on the basis that there are 4bn worth of improper claims currently being honoured (which btw, one might conclude at least prima facie, would mean there are 4bn worth of jobs currently unfilled).

(2) there has been no indication that there is to be any targeting of benefit 'cheats'.

In other words, the cuts that have been plucked out of the air are to apply indiscriminately to welfare recipients, and are supposed to work by making the dole less 'appealing' both to the evil benefits barons who are currently choosing to live the high life on 60 quid a week or whatever it is, and to those who have no choice. Which is a bit unfortunate for the latter.


  1. It is estimated that GBP 2bn of Corporation Tax is lost annually through offshoring by big business in crown dependencies alone.
    GBP 80 Billion offshored within the British Isles - loss perhaps GBP 1.5 Billion
    Plus, plus...
    total 18.5 billion per year
    Darling didn't do it, and Osborne certainly won't.
    Peter Simplex

  2. Indeed he won't; au contraire...

    There's a ref to this in the current Eye (1270), first news story + on p33 Vodaphone's recent £6bn windfall.

    (Also has a full feature on the excellent advert for privatisation that is CDC, and a long 'In the City' dedicated to evidence-degradation and impunity in the Nadir conspiracy, as mentioned here a couple of weeks ago.)

  3. Choice is a good thing is it not? The vanishingly small number of lifestyle benefit citizens should be applauded for their rugged individualism in such an artificially tight labour market.