The Benefit Cap Achieves Nothing!
I’m wading into the debate over the Welfare Reform Bill (WRB) a little late.
The benefit cap, caps all benefits, a person can receive at £500 pound a week or £26,000 a year. That is an incredibly large sum of money. I don’t feel comfortable with someone receiving that amount on benefits. So in principle, you would think I support the benefit cap. Well yes and no.
There are several reasons why I don’t support it.
One of the reasons is that it could punish those who’ve just lost their jobs and claiming benefits perfectly legitimately for a short period of time whilst they get back on their feet. As Tim Leunig points out in the guardian here and as the Independent points out here.
The other reason is that it simply does nothing to combat the reasons why people can claim so much. Not that the state is overgenerous but because rents are too high, a lack of affordable housing and not enough new jobs are being created.
There are some ramshackle flats in London, that are barely habitable that have extortionate rents. Due to lack of council housing, the government is then forced to pay the ridiculous high rents of these private buildings. If the government can fix the rents and stop private landlords have extortionate rent prices not just in London but up and down the country, that doesn’t just help the government bring the benefits bill down, but helps people up and down the country by putting more money in their pocket which they can then spend in their local economy.
The third reason that I am against it, is it does absolutely nothing to deal with those people who are longterm jobless, in workless families who don’t even want to work. It does nothing to these people. I don’t know about you or anyone else up and down the country, I’d happily and so would many others have £26,000 in benefit. It doesn’t say work pays in fact, it says the opposite that living on benefits can give you a nice life if your single. If we want to help these workless families, lets find ways of going after them rather than this gesture policy which sounds like we’re going after them without actually going after them.
The only reason I am for it, is the principle of you shouldn’t be entitled to more money in benefits than the average family in work earns. Other than that statement, it achieves little. I wish we could achieve more than gesture politics. I wish we could use our influence to actually implement policies that have a hope of achieving something.