My first quarrel is about the Marriage Tax Break suggested by the Conservatives. This is yet another policy which has the sole purpose of pleasing old fashioned back benchers. Backbenchers who put their ideologies, often religious, over the well-being and happiness of the people they represent. Although you can easily argue these back benchers don’t represent those who don’t fit into the ‘traditional family’. This is a tax break designed to fit the conservative idea of a perfect family. A father, a mother and their children but they don’t seem to understand this perfect family is not the only family. I would argue that although this traditional family may work for many people it’s not the only option for the perfect family. I would say I’m part of the perfect family! Me, my mum and the dog.
Rewarding a household because they fit into this imagine of the ‘perfect’ family is not only insulting, it’s positively dangerous! You’re not in fact encouraging people to stay together for love and their children. You’re encouraging people to stay together for money. This will simply show peoples commitment to their bank accounts. If a struggling married couple stay together for this tax break this is NOT a sign that they love and care for each other, it’s a sign they love and care about money. Personally, I think this is a toxic message to try and spread. It will only result in more unhappy people and more hostile households for children to be brought up in.
We are in 2013. We need to step away from the idea that a family is a mother, a father and their children. A family can take many forms from a single parent to a gay couple and their kids. Who are we and who are the government to judge a family simply on who is part of it?
Another thing bothering me is the proposal to make the long term unemployed work for their benefits. The first thing that springs to my mind is if you’re making this person work a FULL TIME job for £71 a week jobseekers allowance why can’t we just give them that job? Minimum wage for an over 21 is £6.31 an hour. In the UK you have to be working 35 hours a week to be classified as a full time working. That equates to £220.85 a week which means people who have to work for their jobseekers will be underpaid £149.85 a WEEK for the work they are doing. Does that seem fair to you? Because it sure as hell doesn’t seem fair to me! That’s a job that obviously needs done, so pay that person to do it. If they choose not to take it they must not want to work that badly or they have a bad attitude and they see themselves above it. In that case, they’re obviously not really seeking a job therefore these is no point in giving them jobseekers allowance.
This is no longer the government ‘helping’ people get back into work. This is the government using vulnerable people as near enough slave labour.
Now don’t get me wrong, I am all for providing the long term unemployed with work experience but work experience to me is 2 days a week in a charity shop not 30 hours a week scrapping graffiti off walls of run down areas. Keep in mind that’s not all they have to do! They also have to spend 10 hours a week searching for a job in a job centre therefore the government is, in a way, giving them a 40 hour a week job but paying them £71. You must also take into account transportation, if you are only given £71 a week what is the likely hood of being able to run a car and what is the likely hood of being able to afford public transport. I don’t believe the government will providing free bus passes or travel to and from the “jobs” and job centres so are the unemployed expected to pay for this out of their own pocket?
I’ve heard many stories of people who are long term unemployed sending 100s of a CVs away a week and still not finding jobs. People who spend all day every day searching and applying and yet getting nowhere. Does this Conservative government genuinely think that condensing all that searching into 10 hours a week will get people into work? I don’t see how that makes any logical sense whatsoever.
This is not helping people getting into work. This is borderline slave labour. This is forcing people into doing work for hundreds of pounds less than they should. Yet they even have the audacity to call it the ‘Help to Work’ scheme! Who are they helping? From where I stand it looks to me like they’re taking away legitimate jobs from people. Instead telling the unemployed they’re expected to this once paid job for nothing but the benefits they were already receiving.
It’s a joke.