For those who have paid in over 38 years it is an insult to call it “welfare” and for those people also, they paid because it was the right thing to do, for all of society not just the lucky few.
I always worry when David Cameron or Iain Duncan Smith use sentences like: “We will embark on an all out assault on poverty”, because what they actually mean, as past and recent history informs us, is an all out state assault on the poor and further attacks on our social security provision.
Benefits were originally carefully calculated to meet only basic needs. Welfare was designed to provide the minimal amount for food, fuel and shelter to ensure that those unable to provide for themselves didn’t fall into absolute poverty. The amount was based on “the amount the law says you need to live on.” This has been steadily eroded by the welfare “reforms” – cuts. The severe and punitive welfare sanctions have normalised the idea of people having no welfare support at all, pushing the normative, moral, ethical and rational boundaries of ordinary people steadily, incrementally, in the same way…
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