16 September 2010

The 'Undeserving Rich' Are A Bigger Problem Than The 'Underserving Poor'.

George 'Gideon' Osborne makes me really angry. If ever we needed a reminder of how nasty the Tories were in the 1980s and 1990s he is its epitome. It now seems like a crime to have worked in the public sector or ever been on the dole.

Does anyone think this heir to millions would last 5 minutes in a low wage job, yet alone the years of slog he expects from everyone else. As Chris Dillow puts it, the hypocrisy of the man is breathtaking - of all the people to criticise someone getting something for nothing, he is the worst example. There are FIVE, yes FIVE million people in this country who work for less than £6.75 an hour - that's just £13,000 a year!!!

The tabloids focus relentlessly on benefit scroungers and find the ripest candidate of layabout families they can. Nobody, I repeat nobody wants to be on benefits. If it is a 'lifestyle choice' it is because it is a 'hobsons' choice. Who can blame people being on benefit when to work makes their subsistence existence no better financially. The problem is not benefits being too high - all benefits do is allow you to exist - it just about covers your rent and provides £7 a day for everything else if you are lucky - hardly luxury - try living on that for long. Most on benefit end up in debt - it is a miserable existence. The real problem is that wages do not pay any more than benefits.

I have more sympathy for the single mother struggling to pay the rent failing to declare a boyfriend who lives with her so she can claim a few grand, than millionnaires who pay less tax than their cleaners because they are so good at tax dodging. Yet no-one targets them. No tabloid leads on the front page with tax cheats, only 'benefit cheats'. All the right-wing press ignore the fact that benefit fraud and error is much lower than unclaimed benefit or tax avoidance by the wealthy.

If we really wanted to get people off benefit, the wealthiest 10% who have millions plus in assets and earn in excess of £20 an hour and £40,000 a year have got to start paying a living wage around £7.50 an hour, or £15,000 a year (and we need to sort out wage taxes so no-one on this low wage pays tax). If we don't do that, we cannot complain when people choose to sit on their arse rather than effectively be slaves eking out a miserable existence to fund the ruling classes yachts. Cut benefits and see crime rise. In the end, until the Tory classes can see past the mistakes of the Victorians in classifying people in this way, they will be the losers along with the rest of us as society descends into a nasty maelstrom of crime and decline. We will all be the losers but only the ruling classes will be to blame.


  1. I vaguely agree, with caveats, but it ain't incomes or wealth you want to be taxing - it's Land Values! And we agree on CI anyway so that's boring.

    As to the "undeserving rich", under Labour I spent my time slagging off public sector quango time wasters. We've now got Lib-Cons in charge, so my new mantra is that "For every £1 spent on public sector salaries and pensions, the government pays £1.66 to a 'private' business".

    That'll keep 'em guessing.

  2. Mark, as well as a CI, I also agree with you on a LVT, boring I know. Are you really in UKIP?

  3. Dude, I earn over 40K a year, but do not feel rich. After all the tax I pay to support those poor unfortunate souls on benefits and all the rest of the government spending built up by the benevelent liebour party, I feel positively poor. Its going to take me about 12 years to save a deposit for a flat, but people like you think its fair to tax the hell out of people like me. I seriously think that tax should be applied to property ownership first: that would make the really rich folks pay. However, this is an assult on the right to own property isn't it? So the real and only solution is for government to stop pissing away our hard-earned cash on crazy ideas.

  4. Kelly, Whether you feel rich or not, 40k puts you near the top 10% of earners - so 90% of people live on less than you. Ironically for your argument, if our taxes were higher maybe more housing would be built and you could afford to buy. Of course taxes need to be fairer as well as higher. Taxes for those on less than 20k would fall, your taxes would rise a little, and a land value tax would finally get some money out of the rich who are making fools of us all. For instance do you think it right that Osborne wrote off Vodafone's £6bn tax bill last week? See Johann Hari website for details.