This is an important article in the Telegraph, citing a policy shift from Iain Duncan Smith. It’s recommended read.
via Iain Duncan Smith vows to overhaul ‘perverse’ sickness benefits – Telegraph.
Personally, I think that the proposed measures are far too weak. Radical reform is required.
In my mind, there is room for a new category of ‘public service’, where benefits recipients have to offer some value to society in exchange for their allowances.
I envision, a graduated scale from the most needy, probably receiving more help, through various pre-work categories back to work.
The proposed measures are too weak because it is still possible with 19 million spare NI numbers for fraudsters to buy spare NI numbers in downmarket pubs and other spurious sources, and then claim sickness benefit at more than one benefit office under two different names and even work at a job in a another.
What Dr Alf envisages is American style workfare, whereby incapacitated people would be required to work for their benefits, rather than get Motability Allowance (effectively a free car), access to the work of others to care for them and yet do nothing in return.
The UK’s NI system became insolvent in 2000, so the argument that “we have already paid for our benefits” via the “stamp” is redundant.
Migrants from third world countries want to bring their families here to the UK – they know all about the anomaly of spare NI numbers and the weaknesses of the benefits system, vis-a-vis incapacity.
English people smugglers and criminals know about these anomalies too and make money bringing people into the country and then again by supplying false documentation to allow them to work and /or claim benefits.
Roma and Slovakian gypsies and crooked agricultural gangmasters in East Anglia know that these anomalies can be exploited when it comes to farm work and that the major supermarkets and the government have no real interest in cracking down too hard because the public/voters have no real appetite for higher food prices and most of the indigenous population are not prepared to do the work that these migrants do.
Duncan Smith and his DWP fraud investigators do what they can but the scale of the problem and the porosity of the UK’s borders plus the ineffectiveness of the Home Office means that the system of dole, incapacity benefits and “getting something for something” is flawed beyond any possible “fix and repair”.