Big Brother Welfare Payments……

20 Dec

New Proposals for Benefit Claimants……

Iain Duncan-Smith, the Secretary of State for the Department for Work and Pensions, has proposed some dramatic and IDSdraconian changes to the way in which benefits are to be paid and what is expected of those people seeking employment.  I didn’t think it was possible for our big brother ‘democracy’ to get much worse.  Clearly, I was wrong……

The Benefit Card……

Today, Iain Duncan-Smith announced proposals to create a card onto which a claimants benefit payments would be credited.  It would resemble a ‘chip ‘n’ pin’ style card similar to the debit and credit cards we are all used to, issued by the high street banks.  On Radio 4’s ‘World at One’ program he expressed a view that it would make it more difficult for people with drug or alcohol problems to sustain their habits.  Presumably, it would not be possible to buy tobacco with the card either.  Personally, I doubt very much that this proposal will ever become a reality.  Not even the most right wing of our political elite could sanction such a draconian idea but the fact that the proposal is on the table, as it were, demonstrates the Government’s agenda.

The issuing of such a card raises numerous issues for human rights and practicality.  The government would be able to collect data about how and on what you spend your money as well as information about your movements.  It also offers an opportunity for potential cloning and fraud, which, were it to happen would impact on the innocent claimant whilst the DWP undertook any investigation.  In practical terms how is the user able to make purchases from anybody not able to process card payments; when buying second hand goods for example?  And if the Minister is under the impression that creating a cashless society will magically ‘cure’ addicts he is mistaken, ill informed and only demonstrates the void between reality and the world in which our privileged politicians inhabit.  It is also more likely to increase crime as addicts are forced to find alternative ways of funding their habits…..

Automatic Job Searches……

The second of the minister’s deluded suggestions that will doubtless cause misery to the unemployed is the proposal to create a system that ‘offers’ jobs automatically via the internet.  It is unclear how this system will work for unemployed people without internet access, of which I’m sure there are many due to the costs of hardware and connection.  Anybody with any experience of the current Jobcentre Plus website will know what could be politely described as a deficient system which, when you enter your search criteria, returns a list of jobs which are in no way connected to those criteria.  However, under the proposals put forward by the Secretary of State for the Department for Work and Pensions your decisions can be scrutinised by an employee of Jobcentre Plus and your benefits stopped if they decide that you have chosen not to take a job offered to you by the system……

‘Again, we have politicians tinkering around the edges of minor issues to save money whilst the bankers, war mongers and tax avoiders continue to act with impunity’……

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