Comment, Comics and the Contrary.
So, the government is going to put all the useless eaters to work, is it? As I have written before
, the Government's rhetoric simply does not make sense. I thought that I would spell it out in simple steps. It runs like this:
1. People on Incapacity Benefit (IB) are living in poverty. Their lives are miserable.
2. As humanitarians, we want to improve their lives, and the best way to do that is get them off IB and into rewarding economic activity.
So far, so good(ish). But...
3. People on IB are disincentivised as work often is materially less advantageous than remaining on IB.
4. Therefore we must cut IB to incentivise them to enter into economic activity.
1 and 2 are consistent. 3 and 4 are consistent. 1, 2, 3 and 4 are utterly inconsistent, as if this reasoning is followed it will result in the former IB claimants entering employment that leaves them in worse straits economically. This runs against 1 and 2, the planks of the case derived from imperatives of welfare cited by Government.
And this is before we ask [a] if the jobs are there, [b] what an influx of low-skilled labour will do to pay and conditions and [c] how work will affect the health of IB claimants.
My suggestion is that 3 and 4 are consistent and are the sum of the genuinely held government position. 1 and 2 are merely well worked moral cover, the ‘humanitarian’ case for the imposition of neo-liberal dogma.
I commented on the post at Lenin’s Tomb
, and said that I could not understand why someone has not torn this rhetoric to pieces when interviewing a junior minister live on TV. Which is an example of naivety on my part.