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Tuesday, 10 November 2009

BBC spin machine jumps into action

BBC Radio4 excelled itself in its support for the government this morning. They duly reported that David Cameron will announce Conservative policy measures designed to get people back into work, which would include the retention of transitional benefit payments, but no more detail than that. Of course the BBC hasn't seen the plans, but then neither had the Labour Party, but none of that was going to stop the reporting of the instant government reaction that this was a resturnn to Thatcherism.

For £60 million a week, the licence fee payer deserves a higher standard of journalism and editing.


Steven_L said...

I have no idea what the benefits bill is per week, but I can't understand why there is no debate on cutting payments.

Lifestyle claimants are getting pay rises while workers suffer pay cuts and job losses and the tories seem to have subscribed to labours 'child poverty' scam.

Poverty? Hah, I've filled out a few means testing forms for these people in my time and they are all absolutely rolling in tax credits.

Alex said...

There is no debate because the Conservatives don't want to give Labour and the Lib Dems some meat to get their claws into.

Clearly the bill can and will come down under a Conservative government if they try to balance the books. The benefits bill is about £100 billion, which happens to be more than the total income tax bill, although it includes pensions. Still it says something that more is paid out in handouts than is paid in i taxes on income (not including NI).

The King of Wrong said...

From the 2009 budget, the DEL for "Social Protection" (pensions, dole, etc.) was £189bn - out of £671bn total.

I've not seen the breakdown as to how much of that is actually paid out in benefits, but surely the cost of running the department is fair game? After all, without a ridiculously complex system of benefits and tax credits, you need fewer people to administer it...

Alex said...

I think "social protection" covers a lot more than benefits the dole and tax credits. All the social services imcluding care for the elderly, child care etc.

The King of Wrong said...

Perhaps so... I've not been able to find a good definition for what it includes. It's an awfully big pot of money, though.

If it were split evenly amongst 12m(?) pensioners, 3m unemployed and 3m on incapacity, it's over £200/week. Obviously some need more help than others, but that seems like a generous average to work from, across nearly a third of the population...