Tory supporters and right wingers presume that by opposing welfare cuts, we are advocating more welfare spending, that we support – ‘taking money from hard working tax payers to give handouts to lazy, workshy, welfare dependent, scroungers.’
But the truth is that we oppose welfare cuts for two main reasons – Firstly, and most importantly, we oppose welfare cuts because of the devastating effects they have had and will have on societies *most vulnerable*, we want to ensure that people are protected and receive the support they need.
Secondly – we oppose welfare cuts because nothing has been done or is being done to tackle the causes of and need for welfare. We advocate the reduction of and in some cases complete removal of welfare spending in areas such as housing benefit and working tax, but without it affecting those that receive it.
To do this we need to tackle the root causes and underlying problems, in these two cases that would mean – for housing benefit – a monumental level of housing development – social housing, ‘on-cost’ housing (that rise with wages, not the market) and private housing. It would also mean a change in buy-to-let and buy-to-leave (investment) housing, refurbishing the 100’s of thousands of currently unoccupied houses, possibly the introduction of a rent cap and a change in the laws regarding the ownership of land as an investment that could be used for housing. With working tax it would mean a proper living wage as the minimum wage, so there would be no need for working tax to top up poverty pay, with possible tax/business rates reliefs for small businesses that would struggle to pay such a wage.
Not only will tackling the root causes mean less welfare spending, but it will lead to huge growth in our economy, it will benefit everyone in several ways, especially with the creation of jobs and with there being more money in the pockets of those that spend – the working and middle classes.
It’s time we challenged the misconceptions of those of us against welfare cuts and showed how we can lower the welfare bill by tackling the root causes, not by taking away the already tiny amount of support that societies *most vulnerable* receive or by pushing people, that already have it exceptionally hard, further into poverty and destitution.
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