Monday, 10 August 2009

Bring back the workhouse

I read in the newspaper the other day, that the government are considering getting rid of Attendance Allowance and DLA for the disabled. I know there is a severe recession on, and that cutbacks have to be made in public spending, but why punish the vulnerable for the bankers greed, which caused the current recession?

Every member of the House of Lords earns £174 every day that they turn up. As a result, a peer can sign in, sit there, fall asleep for two hours, wake up and walk out. If they do this five times a week, they are earning £870 a week. Nice work if you can get it. This isn't the politics of envy, but it annoys me, when such waste and extravagance goes on with public funds, at a time that the poor, disabled and vulnerable are being targeted, and under threat, and at a time when politicians of all parties are preaching to the public to make cut-backs and warning of tough times ahead.

If there is to be an House of Lords, peers shouldn't get paid anything apart from their travel and dinner costs. I would remove hereditary peers. You can't have a meritocracy when someone is sat in the House of Lords due to a peerage awarded to an ancestor 400 years ago. I just see the Lords as a decorative aspect to Parliament myself. I would also close tax loopholes for the rich, and either get rid of, or streamline the Royal Family, many of whom I see as the biggest social security scroungers going.

I accept that the DLA system needs reforming, so the disparity of income between the different levels awarded shouldn't be so great, and that the inconsistencies we so often hear about should be eliminated. For example, in October 2004, I heard about a case regarding two twins with Autism. One was awarded the higher rate of care for DLA and the other the middle! You can apply for DLA one day and get it, or apply the following day and be rejected. Some of the criteria for applying should be altered. I personally don't agree with Heroin addicts claiming it, as I feel that is an insult to people who are ill or disabled through no fault of their own. They have a choice. No-one chooses to be Autistic, or to have Cerebral Palsy, or to have Down's Syndrome.

However, DLA and AA should be retained. It was introduced to integrate the disabled into society. Withdraw it, and you will segregate them even more. For me, it is about choice, freedom and independence. The disabled should make their own decisions about how they spend their DLA, not some faceless social services person deciding for them. If MP's believe they are forced to live on rations, then they could stop being an MP.

I have a suspicion that some MP's would bring the workhouse back if they could get away with it, for the long-term unemployed and disabled. That is a good idea, if we put those MP's who want it back, in the workhouse!


Blogger Adelaide Dupont said...

Yes, 'vulnerable' and 'greedy' don't go exactly very well together.

They already have tried to save money since 1992, with the cutting of the Civil List which is the payments to the Queen's minor relatives.

Sarah Ferguson works independently, and so did/does Prince Edward and Sophie, the last two in a media organisation.

(What about the third generation of the royals, though?)

Was reading a most interesting book about Britain called The Anglo Files and it talks all about the Peers in the second chapter. (It is by Sarah Lyall). And some of the Peers seem to have a passion for UFOs. It talked about the working and non-working peers, some of whom do do as you say.

Just to clarify: is attendance allowance for the carers? Yes, the changes in the system have not all been good, and nor has been the inconsistency.

12 August 2009 at 07:35  

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