I am getting totally fed up with the Conservative and LibDems solution to the debt crisis – namely forcing below inflation increases on benefit claimants, whilst simulataneously granting tax CUTS to their mates (I’m thinking of the scrapping of 50p income tax).
The line coming out of the Conservatives is “It isn’t really that benefit claimants should be receiving higher increases than public sector workers”. If this were indeed the case I would support their position, but it isn’t. If you’re over 25 years of age, a Job Seekers Allowance claimant will receive £71 a week. The consumer price index stands, I believe, at 2.7% – meaning that the difference in the CPI and the proposed settlement is 1.7%.
1.7% of £71, which is afterall what we are arguing about, is £1.21 per week.
The average person in work earns roughly £400 a week. So, what reduction in their earnings would they have to suffer to equate to that £1.21? Let’s do the maths…
1.21 = (x)*400/100
1.21 / 4 = x
x = 0.30%
What I am saying here is that the losses involved in a cap of 1% has only 1/5 of the effect on someone in work as it does on someone claiming benefits – as a consequence of how little someone in this position receives.
Next, let’s consider that benefits are calculated to be what you NEED. There’s no room built in for luxuries. The government intends to pay claimants less than they themselves have assessed claimants need.
How sincere are MPs in their concerns about a comparison between the average working person and a benefit claimant? Not very – else they would not in good conscience be calling for a 32% pay rise for themselves, would they?