Monday, 27 January 2014

Labour should be tough on social security, in the right ways

We lefties are supposed to be open-handed with the taxpayer's money, if the Press is to be believed. Anyone needing to supplement their resources should just be able to apply for this or that and receive it in due course.

It has never been this way; nor should it. Our first desire is that everyone should be able to earn a living, so that social security becomes unnecessary. In order to be able to fund, though, those calls on social security which are merited and important, we have to ensure that the country first raises the proper sums from those who ought to pay; and then does not profligately hand it all out to the wrong people.

It has become quite loathsome how people unable to afford for their meagre rations to be reduced are demonised and squeezed by this awful Government, so lets help Labour to get it right when we are back in power. Here are a couple of true-life examples which I encountered only this week to help them find better targets:

Ms A is 22. She is a single mother of one baby, living in the home of her middle-class professional parents. She is casting around to find a home for her, her boyfriend and her baby, near to where she has been brought up. Mummy and Daddy will guarantee her rent - though are not proposing to pay it. In the area concerned, rents are expensive so she plans to seek housing benefit. Is this right, when by moving out of her parental home she will be burdening the taxpayer?

Mrs B is in her 60s and very wealthy, with a very old mother suffering from dementia. Her mother lives a few miles away still in her own flat, where she receives substantial care and support from the NHS and Social Services. Her daughter visits regularly. The latter wants to go away on a foreign holiday for a week, ie will not be able to make her usual filial visits for a few days. Her mother's care will be uninterrupted. The daughter is claiming to be a carer, entitled to respite and the funding for this.

The cost to the State of these 2 examples may not break the bank but they exemplify how it is so often not the poorest in society who rip it off, but those who do not need help at all. It is surely to these that the attention of tax and social security scrutiny should turn, alongside the tax avoiders and bonus grabbers. As a "lefty" I will be happy to be tough on this sort of abuse.

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