Worst-paid Brits risk losing benefits for "not working enough"


My fantasy of charming Olde England keeps taking hit after hit as Great Britain seems to be determined to turn itself into some kind of horrific Dickensian / Orwellian mash up.


That’s so American of them! Start from the assumption the poor are unworthy, and work from there.


Oh I think the Brits had it down about 200 years ago. A few accidental excursions into welfare state foolishness like ‘treating poor people like humans’, but there has never been any doubt about where people fall on the class ladder - and where they are expected to stay.

Here in Canada and the US we have a powerful myth that it is different here. False, but powerful.


The UK has a lower income Gini than the US. However, the UK has worse intergenerational socioeconomic mobility than the US. Both nations are brutal class stratified societies.

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A classic example of conservative silliness from across the Big Pond.

NYC did just this when they took many families off of rental assistance recently; city costs to care for those families jumped 5x AND they were more miserable. Great job, Bloomie.


Will the government use the money saved to give tax cuts to the wealthy? That’s how we do it in the good ol’ US of A. The powers that be think that it’s only a matter of motivation: the poor will be motivated to work harder if we threaten to take money away from them, and the rich will be motivated to work harder if we offer to give them even more.


Well, the only reason that people are not rich is that being poor is just so awesome.


At the risk of introducing a little sanity here:

This is just an early draft proposal, not something that’s currently being implemented or has even been finished yet. It’s also becoming more outlandish with every retelling. The original proposal just says that they’ll look at people who aren’t working full-time and try to find out why, with the possibility of docking benefits for those who don’t have any particular reason not to work more.

The bit about “even if no additional shifts are available to them” is Cory’s own invention as far as I can tell - nobody else seems to have claimed that first. Also created here is the suggestion that all the people in this income bracket will be required to attend assessments; in fact, they intend to skip the vast majority of those people who have other time commitments (caring, children, etc).


The working poor are just next in the list, that’s all.

I mean, the government have already attacked asylum seekers, immigrants, the disabled, the unemployed and people with too many bedrooms. It’s a logical progression. You’re on the list, too. Everyone who’s not in government or bankrolling the party is. I imagine it will come as a huge surprise when many people who supported the attacks on the previous victim of the week find themselves in the firing line.

And the response from the official opposition is “Well, we’d be a bit nicer. Do the same things, but slower.”

Time to man the lifeboats. If you have the chance to break away from this diseased political culture, and have another go at creating a functioning society, do it.


Meh. It’s been proven time and time again that even toothless efforts to cut down on “loafers” or whatever other mythical undesirables we’re targeting cost a lot of money. Always more money spent than saved. Though occasionally it has proven to be useful in determining how low the rates are of mythical undesirable behaviours.

For instance, when they drug tested people to cut them off food stamps, we found that something below 5% of food stamp users were also drug users. No one ever did explain why it was ok for junkies and their kids to starve but such is the price of getting egg on our faces so we can live to forget again tomorrow.


Actually, Canada is doing quite well.

All those wimpy insurances and safety nets pay off.


I’ll just send the working poor a Wall Street Journal op-ed piece telling them that it is all their fault. That should do it.

Next up: “Workhouses” suggested to keep the poor appropriately busy.


By what benchmark? What are your metrics and sources here?

The conditions and impact of the Industrial Revolution as it was allowed to develop (and mutate) in Great Britain were pretty damned horrifying as well. The scope and consequences of that enormous change-- economic, social, environmental, psychological, even physical-- in many ways seem to mirror those of the significant historical phase we’re currently muddling through, and which I’ll rather lamely label the Globalization/Information Revolution.

Unfortunately, it looks to me as if Britain (and the US) is navigating this transition about as poorly as they did in the last.

Usually I hear “If have to be drug-tested in order to work, then those people should be drug-tested when they get welfare!!!”

If the UK government refuses to decriminalize cannabis, while tacitly encouraging farming of the same, think of all the lovely new oakum to be picked! Maybe they can sweep out Marshalsea and rebuild Fleet Prison to welcome all the new debtors and reprobates who can swap their oakum-pickin’ scrip for food and other necessaries.

Oh, what a bright, hope-filled and wonderful world beckons in the 21st Century!

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Cory’s articles seem to be sensationalism over content lately. This hasn’t always been the case. It’s almost trolling because i get all fired up upon initial reading…


Are you actually claiming that the UK and US are NOT brutally unequal societies? Because everything I’ve been seeing and reading for the past 5 years has shown me that inequality and poverty have been rising massively in both nations, largely due to the active machinations of the respective governments and their owners. In the US 1 in four children live in poverty now. And that’s only if you use the ridiculous poverty statistics the US uses. Its more like half. The REAL unemployment rate in the US is closer to 20%. There is a depression going on but its been swept under the rug by corrupt politicians who rig stats and deny reality.

None of this is really in dispute. Its mainly just ignored by the powerful. And instead we get cuts to food stamp programs and more pressure on the poor to prove they are worthy of aid. Are you really claiming massive inequality and poverty are not bad for society? Or are you just pretending that its not happening?