UK & World News
Benefits Cap 'Immoral And Socially Divisive'
Plans for a £500-a-week cap on household benefits have been criticised in a savage attack by the former coalition minister for children and families.
Sarah Teather accused ministers of seeking to "gain popularity at the expense of children's lives" by pushing through a measure they knew was popular but ineffective.
The Lib Dem faced calls for her sacking as children's minister in February after she missed a key vote on the reforms which she had publicly questioned.
She eventually departed from the Government ranks in September's reshuffle.
Speaking to The Observer, she said: "I think deliberately to stoke up envy and division between people in order to gain popularity at the expense of children's lives is immoral.
"It has no good intent."
She went on: "There are all sorts of things you have to do when times are tight that have negative consequences but you do them for good purposes.
"But to do something for negative purposes that also has negative consequences - that is immoral."
She added: "I don't think it was even remotely conceived as a financial cost-cutting device. I think it was conceived as a political device to demonstrate whose side you are on."
She said she was "terrified" about the prospects for many families who would be forced to move to cheaper areas where they would find it harder to find work.
"My fear is that a lot of people will effectively just disappear from the area in which they were living. I think some very horrible things are going to happen," she said, questioning how well child protection and education services would keep track of youngsters.
But a spokesman for Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith accused Ms Teather of hugely-misinformed scaremongering.
"The criticisms Sarah Teather is levelling against the Government's welfare reforms are hugely misinformed and therefore result in needless scaremongering," he told the newspaper.
"It's not fair or right that benefits claimants receive higher incomes than hard-working families who are striving to get on in life.
"Our reforms bring fairness back to the system while ensuring we support the most vulnerable."
what do you think?
We both work and have a family and bills and need to eat !!!! Why should families be given upto 500 a week for doing nothing ! And I dont mean the families who have a genuine reason for not working - I am talking about the ones who live in nice houses and have a couple of cars , have a couple of holidays a year and wave at me from their bedroom window when I am on the way out to work !!!!! Makes me sick
But this is not what the government is proposing. Those very people with genuine difficulty will be the first and only ones to really suffer.
£500 a week is above the GDP per Capita in the UK. Why should people have a right to more money than what the average working person earns. Rather than whinging that people can't sustain themselves on it, how's about educating those who can't do it, on how the rest of us do do it. If this cap will affect the lives of children, then dont let them have soo many children.
£500 A WEEK time to pack the job in and get on benefits Anyone on benefits should get just under minimum wage pay tax national insurance rent/ mortgage poll tax and everything else the rest of us have to pay don't like it then get a job work overtime or leave the country
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A bloke i worked with left and was working again within a week. My mate's brother within 2 weeks. Look harder.
Wasn't meant to appear on your thread. Weird and my apologies!
Lorgar, that's anecdotal evidence and proves nothing. If i came on here and told people that my sister had tried everything to get a job and couldn't get one, you would tell me that was anecdotal evidence and proves nothing.
Lorgar, my sister works in the jobcentre. Their job has moved from finding work for claimants to removing benefit on the slightest pretext. Sometimes this is very unfairly done and my sister feels very uncomfortable about the decisions made by her colleagues. She despairs because there are very very few jobs and certainly nothing like enough to cover eberyone who is claiming. It is difficult for so many
Unfortunately we have a generation or two now that have grown up in a house where neither parent has worked. What incentive do they have to work? We're too soft on the younger generation, no one is pushing them in the right direction. I wonder how many families in China sit at home on benefits watching telly with no thought for putting back into the system that treats them so well.
It is madness that people have flats in the centre cities paid for when so many cannot afford them and have long commutes and pay high public transport fares to just go do our jobs. Yes, support the vunerable but stop the abuse.
If you have lived in the city centre all your life Angela, if your friends and family are all there too, is it reallyfair to ship people out if they happen to lose there jobs? Would you want to be treated in that way? Perhaps we could establish floating hostel ships offshore?
I work and I don't get that much so why should people who don't work get more than those who do.I also live in a deprived area,but am limited by how much I earn to were I can live,why should scroungers be any different.
Byron why call people scroungers. If one day you need to fall back on the system, would you like to be labelled in that way?
why do people come to this country in there thousands let me guess a chance of 500£ free a week. its a joke ..people go to australia and only get in there if they have work and money.in G.B. all you need is acouple of kids and this old excuse i will be killed if i go back there...in G.B. the unemployment rate is going up every week and still we let people in.and who pays for this,,,, us the people who work ///stop leting people into here and deport all the people who are here illegally..but this will never happen..
Why not cap the amount my husband works I work we struggle sometimes we just have ro get on with it
I'm hoping the lack of punctuation in you comment has caused a few people to mis-read this! I think what you meant was 'Why not cap the amount. My husband works, I work, we struggle sometimes. We just have ro get on with it' I could be wrong though!
Yes.you are correct,phone was ringing I was rushing
Eats shoots and leaves!
It should be £250 a week not £500. Liebour turned the benefits system from a saftey Net in to a Fishing Net for votes. Benefits are a career choice for some people these days.
Welfare breeds welfare 4 kids larger house, mother and father don't work,free prescriptions,free dental treatment, no council tax.There children grow up never knowing anything different. The benefits they get paid are squandered on drink and drugs. As mentioned in other postings these people need to have benefits paid as of minimum wage .NOT £500 a week. Which is an insult to the working class of this country.
The benefits system needs to be drastically overhauled. There should not be any money given out at all. There should be vouchers instead, not transferrable, only able to be used on food, clothing, gas & electricity etc and strictly controlled. No more cash for plasma tv's, designer clothes, beer, fags, gambling - nothing. Let us then see how many will stay on the dole and how many will get out their and earn their money.
There are only so many jobs available, less than the number of unemployed, politicians and business have exported the former jobs of the working classes abroad, the middle classes will squeal when their jobs go the same way in the drive for more profit for the bloated few.
I appreciate the intent of your comments, but they are too generalised! However I like your idea of non-transferable vouchers to pay for the basics only. Without the extras, I believe, am sure the layabouts on benefits would then have to get a job sorry orange for using that 3 letter word).
John the only reason that there are not many jobs is that the jobs that did exist have been taken up by the immigrants brought in to increase the Labour vote-base. Without importing these and insisting that jobs are taken up by the local work-force then a much more full employment figure would exist, people paying tax, not so much benefit being paid out, etc. etc.
Why don't you all pack your your jobs in and live off the state then? I bet you will find it very hard to get any help. Why aren't those people you see living rough on the streets and in hostels not living the life of Riley if it is that easy? The destruction of the safety net that is the welfare state continues unabated by the feathered bedded politicians and the potential victims cheer on the process, you might be singing a different song when you end up queuing at a food bank.
If WE as you say pack ARE JOBS IN then how the hell do you think your going to get your benefits From the tooth fairy????
You don't get irony, do you?
And Mr Grice you foolishly imply that I receive benefits, I don't.
John irony would have ended at the first statement, not after the 5th or 6th that you posted!
I see by the number of coments on here with the thumbs down we have a fair few on here on benefits that think they should get more to do nothing only leach off society
i agree, give people more and more and more money!who cares if they dont feel like working,everybody needs a nice holiday a year dont they?
Has this dopey woman asked herself why this is a "popular" measure??. It is because most working people are sick of subsidising others. There are very few places in this country where £500 per week is necessary to meet the rent. For example, many people who work in London would love to live there but cannot afford it, so they spend a fortune on travel costs commuting. If you can't afford to live in London on your salary or benefits, why should the rest of us pay for you to do so??. Move somewhere else you can afford !!!.
Down And Out In Paris And London by George Orwell is a fine book, read it and see what happened to an upper middle class gentleman in a previous recession. But you won't will you? you will keep punching down until the day you end up in the same dire straits that he did. It is all rather sad really.
Life on benefits should be a stigma, not a source of pride.
Lorgar do you really believe these blunt statements you make or are you winding up leftie? Imagine if you lost your job and someone else made that remark about you.
Windows.i see what you mean,but benefits are not meant for luxurious.well that what it was when my husband was out of work.We both work our car is older than yours.we have just had to fork out money after it was hit by a drunk driver while parked outside our house we struggle to pay bills etc
Benefits should be capped for people who do nit work. However I do nit think it should be a blanket amount. I think it should be based on how much you have contributed to NI. The more you have paid the higher the cap. This stops the caps being unfair on people who have worked all their lives just to be made redundant. Also I agree that, at least until unemployment drops significantly, we should shut up shop. No more workers from other countries. Also more needs to be done to help people back into work. I have been turned down for loads of jobs since redundancy and the main reason? I don't have a drivers license and companies see that as a major disadvantage. I would appreciate the !diots who label alll of us who don't work as scroungers keep their worthless opinion to themselves. I get about £350 a month of help. And I am about £150 a week worse of than when I was working. So tell me, you think I would rather be on the dole or working? Some people are just so stupid and insensitive.
divide and rule same old Tories
We've all got to live within our means and those who have no intentions of working must live within theirs the sooner they learn this country is not a charity the better.