A Nightmare On Benefit Street...!!!

Have It Both Ways: The Government has recently become more and more ruthless with the little people at the bottom of the pile it seems. Rather than upset the overly rich with their abundance of money, it seems they are much preferring to squash the already hard pressed, just a little harder and a little flatter. It is a fact that foods and fuel have risen in price considerably over the past five years. Significantly, for most, wages haven't budged. On top of this, jobs are often now difficult to come by and employers often pay too little for what they demand in return. Whether this is because they have no choice or simply because they are too greedy, the bottom line is the same. Life for some is very difficult, more than it should be in this day and age. It is a commonly overlooked fact that it is a prime job of any government to ensure people either have a job or enough to live on. They should not expect to have it both ways - and yet they do.

All Too Often: Most people want to work and want the self-respect of being independent. However, for many years now there has been a problem in as much as it is often very difficult to find work. Much of our work has been farmed out abroad and our own industry has been badly neglected and run down. Manufacturing jobs have been reduced in recent times from nine million to two million. Also of late, our building industry has been completely taken over and monopolised by workers from Europe, who can afford to work for much less, leaving our own builders without work. We have indeed invited more and more people over here to live, putting additional strain on jobs and resources. It seems that all too often, we don't properly look after and support our own indigenous people, or our own country. All too often, if you ring a call centre you're talking to someone in India who you can't even understand. All too often, instead of making it in Britain, we contract out and make it abroad. All too often, instead of buying British, we buy everything but. All too often, instead of people who have made their fortune in this country putting something back, they can't wait to desert and jump ship. The Government say, "We can't tax the rich or penalise the bankers because they'll all bugger off elsewhere if we do." Well, doesn't anyone care about this country? Doesn't anyone feel patriotic or have a loyalty to this country? Is life just about grabbing as much as you can and sod everything else? Are we all so greedy that we cannot manage to care about our own nation and our own people? Charity should begin at home, but all too often, it seems there is no charity to begin with.

Simply Wrong: There are some things in life that are perhaps difficult to understand until you've been in that position. Being frustratingly jobless, short of money, and dependent on state benefit is perhaps one of those things. We badly need more jobs for our own indigenous people but we aren't going to get them unless we are prepared to properly support our own country and put something into making it happen. Because there is a shortage of jobs, supply and demand dictates that employers can take the proverbial. Consequently, if anyone on benefits is lucky enough to find a job, due to the often inadequate wages, they may be no better off than before. For some, due to paying out travelling and the loss of other benefits, such as free dental care, council tax, etc, they can even be worse off. The politicians have, in their usual trend, failed to adequately address this problem too, and the bottom line is that unless you can get back into a very well paid job, chances are you'll working long hours for little or no reward. Many people, although working long and hard, are still unable to afford to live. That is simply wrong!

Bread And Dripping: People that cannot find work at all have no choice but to depend on state benefit or starve. It is a known fact to most in the real world that you cannot survive on benefit alone for any length of time. As it is, in such instances, people will have to try and supplement their meagre bread and dripping allowance with a little extra cash in hand so as to try and make up the difference. Although this may not afford them a Porsche on the drive of a rural detached house and three holidays a year, it does enable them a better chance of surviving and staying afloat in the real world. However, although this is perhaps a common sense survival thing to do, in the eyes of the Government, it is of course unlawful and even though the sums do not add up, they insist you must live on less than you actually need. To this end, over the last year or two we have seen them making quite a lot of fuss about 'benefit thieves'. The fact that if you are on benefits and do any form of work on the side without declaring it, you will be targeted and prosecuted as a criminal. Even doing an odd job can get your benefit stopped, leaving you with nothing.

Don't Add Up: Also in its attempt to toughen up and claw back money from those on benefits the Government has recently been more stringently means-testing people on incapacity benefit. However, due to using a badly flawed system, they have been removing benefits from people that are seriously ill. Insisting that they are fit for work. Such instances include people with heart and lung problems and breathing difficulties. This obviously causes significant additional heartache and stress for such people. One guy actually dropped dead from his condition two weeks after he was told he should be back at work. The Government has also recently introduced the poorly thought out and logistically impractical bedroom tax. This has also been putting many people through a nightmare on benefit street. Governments are generally meant to look after people making sure they have what they need. They are not meant to be there to cause undue suffering and stress to those they are supposed to represent and take care of. However, our governments don't seem to be able to abide by these basic principles of morality and fairness. As they carry on regardless, pandering to the rich, they cause not less, but more distress and heartache in a world which simply does not work because the sums don't add up, and which they don't appear to be able to adequately understand or manage.

Imbalanced Society: We know there are some people out there on benefits who do take the significant proverbial and so do deserve to be treated as criminals, because they are. However, many are ordinary decent people that are simply disadvantaged in some way, encumbered with young children, or just unable, in the current desert of employment, to find a job - any job. Some are hard pressed mums simply trying to earn the difference to keep the family afloat, or to give their kids a reasonable Christmas. Something we all like to do for our kids. Whatever way you look at it, most of these people hardly have the world to begin with and the amounts of money they are expected to live on somehow do not realistically relate to the cost of the corrupt and imbalanced society that we currently live in. It is a fact that thousands of people (about 500,000) are now having to depend on food banks to stay alive. Thank God for food banks! There is some charity!

Greed: I cannot personally understand why everything our forefathers sweated and toiled to build up, enduring much hardship as they went, has been frittered away, run down and, or, sold off. After all, they managed to build it up and maintain it, whereas we cannot even manage to maintain it. We also have more modern technology now, which should in theory enable people to have more leisure time, i.e. work less for more. Society should be getting more efficient and yet our society seems to be going backwards. I say I can't understand it but in actual fact, for me, all the problems can be summed up in one word - greed, and that starts at the very top with a corrupt government. The disproportionate allocation of monetary resource in our society utterly stinks. The rich, manipulative controlling elite and the puppet politicians that we unwittingly put our trust in, many of whom simply use their position to take advantage, don't want to, it seems, consider ALL the people, especially those at the bottom of the heap, working or not. It seems they simply don't care. They, and their rich buddies, are alright Jack. If it wasn't for the extreme greed, society would be a much nicer and more respectable place with less crime and less hardship. Much more of a feel good factor and much less of a pain in the, well, you know!

Take The P! However, talking of making a fuss about cheating the system, I would certainly agree with the Government that it is definitely a worse offence and a much more serious crime to be coining it in on the side when you really don't need it! You really don't need it because you already earn very significant amounts of money and consequently already have all that you could possibly need. Significantly depriving the public purse in these such fraudulent circumstances would surely be pure and utter selfishness, totally unjustifiable. You would think, given the fuss that the Government are making about poor people trying to scratch a living at the bottom of the heap, such totally unjustifiable greed and criminal behaviour would be punishable in the extreme. However, this does not actually seem to be the case, as long as you work for the people making the fuss that is. Yes, unbelievably, if you are an MP working for the people making the fuss, it seems you can fraudulently coin in very significant amounts of money on the side, depriving the public purse in the process and simply get away with it. Even though you don't need it, don't deserve it and don't have to live everyday under the financial stress of wondering where the next penny is coming from. If you are an MP, it seems you can simply take the P and walk away scot-free!

Less Than Straight! With what they do and what they don't do, it always seems to be the case for me that our politicians are all too often less than straight, and the only time they admit to anything is when they get caught out. Therefore, maybe we should be paying more significant attention to those at the top of society rather than those at the bottom, because let's face it, if you're going to put the squeeze on people, cut off their subsistence and anything they make on the side, those at the top of the heap are in much better position to afford it than those at that bottom. And let's face it, most of us living in the real world, have to cover our expenses out of our wages. How is it that politicians are so privileged that they don't have to live in the real world? Well, all I can say is no wonder they know nothing about how to manage it!
Crosstalk by Taz: March 2014