Socialist Worker

Stand together for the right to claim benefits

Published Sat 12 Jan 2013
Issue No. 2335

A government full of millionaires and public school boys wants to scapegoat millions of ordinary people who rely on benefits.

They say many workers face pay cuts and pay freezes, so why should those who get benefits see their income rise with prices?

They want to divide us and make us blame each other for the fact that it is getting harder and harder to survive in Tory Britain.

We have to stand solid against this ideological onslaught. The Tories hate the welfare state—they say it creates a “something for nothing” culture.

They want to brand people who receive benefits as “skivers” while praising everyone else as “strivers” so they can get away with the cuts.

But the Tories are the ones who get immense wealth and privilege without lifting a finger.

Instead of saying benefits have to be cut because workers’ wages are being cut, we should argue that the fair solution is for no one to lose out.

Wage freezes should be lifted and pay rates increased as prices rise.

The government says that only the wealthy will be affected by the child benefit cuts. They want us to let this latest attack go through, hoping many may not feel sympathy for people who earn more than £50,000.

Ministers know people are angry that the poorest and most vulnerable are suffering the most. They want to try to convince us that they are making the rich pay.

But universal benefits, that go to everyone without means‑testing, get to those who need them most. They also cost less to administrate.

Restrictions

Means-testing may begin by just targeting higher earners, but once the principle is established there is no stopping more restrictions being constantly introduced.

Over time the Tories will come back and create greater limits on the number who can claim certain benefits.

Many people simply don’t claim benefits when they have to fill in complicated forms to receive what they deserve.

No one should be forced to feel ashamed of claiming benefits that they are fully entitled to.

The welfare state was created to help people in hard times. It is funded by money that workers pay in so that that they can be supported when they might need it.

There is not one section of the working class who lives on benefits and the rest who “strive”. And there is not a limited pot of money that we have to fight over.

The Tories and their Lib Dem lapdogs push these ideas so they can attack millions of us while protecting the wealth sloshing around at the top of society.

The only way to really make the rich pay is to hike up their taxes.

But this is a solution that all politicians, Tory, Lib Dem and Labour, refuse to countenance.

» Iain Duncan Smith is the REAL benefits cheat

» Lies can’t hide savage Tory war on benefits

» Labour joins in attack on the welfare state

» 'Bedroom tax' will force people out of their homes


Article information

What We Think
Sat 12 Jan 2013, 00:00 GMT
Issue No. 2335
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