More from MyMPN: Inhumane Treatment Of UK’s Disabled & Poor By Department For Work And Pension by Tara Lighten Msiska
Seeing the Cameron Conference Rap viral video is both hilarious and an astute truth that many people in the UK can identify with. The time has come for party manifestos, grand promises and the usual pandering – the general election is finally near!
The video, uploaded on 1st October by Cassetteboy has over 3 million views at the time of writing, no doubt down to the clever editing of words.
It genuinely seems as if the Tory government dislikes the less fortunate in our society. From the disastrous benefit sanctions policy to the numerous box ticking claimants have to go through it seems as if the situation just couldn’t get worse for the poor. Or at least that’s what I thought.
Before we were treated, once again, to the fair and balanced thinking of Work and Pensions secretary Iain Duncan Smith. Tests will be rolled out for pre-paid benefits cards to be provided to claimants instead of physical cash. The defence for this is to prevent some claimants from spending the money on drugs or drinks. So it’s to help people of course – nothing to do with lumping all claimants into one category.
These food stamp-esque cards fail to consider the other types of benefit claimants. Will the single mother on benefits not feel a crushing embarrassment when she hands her pre-paid card to the cashier, immediately setting her apart from her fellow shoppers? How will the young graduate feel, if not more stigmatised, when he hands his card to purchase the week’s necessities at his local shop?
To be poor under a Conservative government is to be a lab rat. Here’s a bright idea, let’s try out a new payment method on people who are already disadvantaged and see where it takes us?
The truth is Chancellor George Osborne is saving money by cutting what little the poor have. Instead of raising taxes on the rich he is happy to claim we’re all in this together. The only ‘togetherness’ there is applies to the richer in society: together the rich will try and keep as much of what they have by making the poor pay for a problem that was created by the rich.
Don’t get me wrong these are a number of positives with such a method of payment — less administrative cost to name one example, but can this outweigh the potential stigma attached? It will become very clear who the ‘leeches’ in society are with judgement potentially raining in from all sides for the holder of the card. Is this fair?
Currently our society already counts the poor as somehow less deserving of our money and sympathy. Why are the Tories intent on taking away as much as they can from those who already have so little? While wanting to prevent benefit dependency is no bad thing, surely if there were more, better paid and secure jobs there would be less need.
As it is I would suggest the powers-that-be should consider more innovative ways to save money that do not include privatising the NHS, creating more and ingenious ways to sanction benefit claimants, cutting housing benefits and generally making the disadvantaged more disadvantaged. However realistically, can this happen? With the rich and powerful at the helm can they know or even understand what it’s like to live under the constant dread of ‘what next?’
Content posted to MyMPN open blogs is the opinion of the author alone, and should not be attributed to MintPress News.