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09:38 am: what they really want to do?
The Government announced today a radical reform to the welfare system, the largest shakeup in 233 years since the Poor Law of 1601 was introduced. A new "eligibility" test will be introduced to ensure that people capable of working will have to, and a network of support organisations set up to provide help.

"In many cases the problem is not that there aren't jobs: there are", said the Secretary of State in a speech last night. "The problem is that people are too proud to take the jobs they can get. The way to solve this is to take pride out of the equation by utterly humiliating them."

The plans call for those claiming benefits at present to be divided into several categories. Those "genuinely physically unable to do manual work, such as quadriplegics" will continue to recieve payments to sustain themselves in the community - to be called "outdoor relief". The rest will be encouraged to find work - which they should be able to accept as because any work available should be more eligible than no work.

A network of "productivity homes" will be set up throughout the country, under local authority and faith control. These productivity homes will provide facilities for people who are unable to look after themselves or cannot find work. Those able to will be set to useful tasks to defray the cost of the productivity homes, which will also be funded by a tax on the rentable value of property within the local area. Residents of productivity homes will be confined to the house at all hours whilst living there, in order to prevent them secretly taking jobs. They will, of course, be free to leave entirely and move back into the wider society at any time.

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From:tankgirlinblack
Date:February 1st, 2006 10:06 am (UTC)
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*bangs head against wall*

I know people that have been 'on the sick' mainly to stop them clogging up the unemployment statistics. There isn't the same outrage at high levels of people claiming disablity benefits as there is for the unemployment statistics, so that's where they go.
If the government stopped focussing on statistics, they could reduce those claiming disablity benefits overnight.
I fail to see how these proposals will stop this pratice, or the persistant fraudulant claimants(who know the system better then those administering it), But I do see how it will put unfair and undue stress and pressure on those who cannot work especially for mental and difficilt to quantify physical(back pain etc) reasons.

I agree there needs to be an overhaul of the benefits system in general. People who can work need to be made to as much as possible. Benefits are there for when you can do nothing to fund yourself, not because you don't want to. How people live on benefits though I don't know, (unless they do cash-in-hand work)as the payments are tiny (under £60 a week I believe).

I don't know what the answer is, but then I'm not being paid to come up with it. This proposal just seems to be pandering to the Daily Mailesque views of 'getting those workshy lazy bastards that I'm paying taxes so they can live in luxury' back into work, rather than being of any help.
[User Picture]
From:abigailb
Date:February 1st, 2006 10:23 am (UTC)
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They're still quite a way from actually reintroducing workhouses, as I euphemistically suggest in my short satire, but the language and attitude in the actual recent announcements is exactly the same 19th century attitude - the modern phrasing and jargon fits like a glove onto the practices introduced by Poor Law Amendment Act 1835, denounced by Dickens and then abolished in the 1930s.
[User Picture]
From:tankgirlinblack
Date:February 2nd, 2006 06:55 am (UTC)
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I hope you don't think I was saying the disabled are on the scrounge. That's not what I ment at all. I know poeple whove applied for certain disablity benefits. The questions are intrusive, and people who answer them honestly, dispite chronic illness have been refused any benefits at all simply because they are able to work part time >:-(

But, I know of people in areas of high unemployment who while being perfectly fit, have been signed off sick. They are either fantastic liers, or being a statistic moved away from unemploment benefits. Either way, it's out of order, especially when help is being denied to people genuinly suffering, because they are not suffering quite enough. Like I said, unless you are on the take, or would be on unemployment benefit anyway(same money, different statistic) I fail to see why you would *choose* to be on the sick.

[User Picture]
From:tankgirlinblack
Date:February 1st, 2006 10:22 am (UTC)
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I've just re-read you last paragraph. I got caught up in one of my noraml reants without actually taking that in properly.
*shudders*
Are they actually serious?! That is a terrifying way of thinking. Why don't they just suggest leathal injection if they don't work, to stop them unfairly burdening the sytem and have done with it.

I'm getting very nervous about some of the proposals coming from this government over the last few years. Are we really slowly moving towards a faschist state where things are done 'for our best interests' without standing up. *runs off to become a hermit with a big stick*
[User Picture]
From:abigailb
Date:February 1st, 2006 10:24 am (UTC)
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sorry, probably shouldn't post satire early in the morning. ;)

but its scary you find it plausible.
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From:tankgirlinblack
Date:February 1st, 2006 10:31 am (UTC)
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Doh!

*wipes brow in relief*
Oh well, a rant is always fun ;-)

I wouldn't put much past the goverment (not just this one, by any).
From:x_mass
Date:February 1st, 2006 01:00 pm (UTC)
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yes I found it completley plausable
I know plenty of people to ill to function and I cant believe someone like tory blair would be just the jerk to do it
[User Picture]
From:annie_lyne
Date:February 1st, 2006 10:35 am (UTC)
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This sounds like our new upcoming "Welfare to Work" policy.
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From:561
Date:February 1st, 2006 10:39 am (UTC)
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*grins*
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From:katsmeat
Date:February 1st, 2006 12:15 pm (UTC)
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Snigger
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From:reddragdiva
Date:February 1st, 2006 03:24 pm (UTC)
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This needs development on UnNews.
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From:abigailb
Date:February 1st, 2006 03:59 pm (UTC)
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Feel free to import it there. ;)
[User Picture]
From:reddragdiva
Date:February 1st, 2006 10:20 pm (UTC)
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UnNews:UK disability pension Mutual Obligation reform

Now it just needs a picture! A smiling Blair with one-armed beggars or something ...
From:feuermaus
Date:February 1st, 2006 04:48 pm (UTC)
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What's quite scary is that you've hit the nail bang on the head there! Just give them a few years and I'm sure they will find a way of doing it. What's more, is it bad that in some ways I don;t think it's a bad thing? If the Jobcentre actually did *it's* job and helped people find the work that they were suited for then they wouldn't have so many people slipping through the net. I can't believe as a post-grad I was out of work for almost 10 months, not out lack of trying for jobs but because the jobs that were there I was overqualified for and they wouldn't touch me with a barge pole!

I like your satire though ....
[User Picture]
From:tankgirlinblack
Date:February 1st, 2006 08:58 pm (UTC)
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It took me about the same time to get a relavent job after I graduated.

I went to the job center once during that time.
I thought I'd talk to someone while I was there. He kept on trying to give me information on courses I could take. I lost track of how many times I said I had the qualifications, it was the employment I was finding hard to get.
So then he rang an employer of for a job that had CAD in the title (not listening to me pointing out I didn't have any of the engineering skills listed in the job description) then handed the phone to me. So I ended up apologiseing to the person on the other end of the line for wasting their time.

They don't know how to deal with someone who has an idea of where they are going. I didn't need help getting qualifications, and I certainly didn't need help in getting in touch with possible employers. Though to be fair most of the other people in there either were barely literate/could hardly string a sentance together either because they were chavs or not british born, and they do *need* someone to ring people up and ask about jobs for them.
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From:barakta
Date:February 1st, 2006 10:33 pm (UTC)
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The jobcentre always seem surprised when I can spell my own name. They advised that I as a deaf person applied for callcentre work - or as a sign language interpreter. The latter suggestion was made by my disability employment advisor. Nice man, but completely useless.

I also have fun explaining that information management is not computer science and even less software engineering.

Their disability support is laughable, what work I did get after graduating was entirely through my own efforts. At least I know how to work the system and refuse to use their phone systems at all. I know how to get past the frontline monkeys at the jobcentre too.
[User Picture]
From:tankgirlinblack
Date:February 2nd, 2006 09:30 am (UTC)
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I found myself getting anygry at the guy I spoke to because he was being what I though was incredably patronising, but I realised he needed to say this stuff to nearly everyone he dealt with, and probably didn't actually know how to deal with someone actually capable of applying for jobs without him doing it all for them.

[User Picture]
From:barakta
Date:February 1st, 2006 10:26 pm (UTC)
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Well I still laugh that the jobcentre told me to apply for callcentre work. My DEA advised that I get a job as a sign language interpreter....

The income support for sick people seem a little less dimwitted, but sadly I'm too ill to work even if I wanted to. I may try and stay on IS and get work from that cos the advisors are at least polite, audible and are willing to learn clue.
[User Picture]
From:barakta
Date:February 1st, 2006 10:19 pm (UTC)
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I didn't quite realise it was satire because this government HAS suggested that some disabled people should be re-institutionalised instead of being allowed to live independantly and employ their own staff to allow them to do so. It is cheaper to chuck severely disabled people into a 'care-home' than it is to pay for the appropriate support staff for someone to live in their own home - a private life.

The current welfare state changes are the biggest pile of pointy haired waffle I have ever seen. The assumption that if someone is 'incapable of working' that they can just get 'magic treatment' straight away is insane. It will become acceptable for the jobcentreplus *spit* to make someone on long-term sick put things like "get CBT therapy, or go to a pain clinic" on their 'action plans'. The waiting list for those can be up to 2 years if tyey are available at all in the area. I don't see the jobcentreplus people being prepared to wait that long, so the individual will get the "Tough shit treatment not available, well work without it or we'll take your money away"...

The DWP are on my shitlist this week more than usual.
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