Does Cameron Have An Economic Adviser?

SO THERE WE HAVE IT. Cameron’s bold plan to relieve those on incapacity benefit of £25 per week as a means of forcing them back to work. And this at a time when most forecasters expect unemployment to break through the three-million barrier and for available jobs to contract further.

Moreover, it is by no means certain that Britain’s recovery is imminent. There is good cause for concern that the economy may suffer a ‘double-dip.’

Getting tough on benefit thieves is, of course, a firm political platform. But the message would be easier to digest if Conservative members of Parliament, under Cameron’s leadership, had not had their noses so deeply immersed in the expenses trough.

If the economists are right, then Cameron’s benefit policies will have no more effect than to further impoverish the weak in society and place another drain on consumer spending that is needed to see the economy recover. And, despite what leading Conservatives say, the policy is a throw-back to the 1980s’ policies under Thatcher. After all, we would not now have 2.6 million citizens on incapacity benefit had Thatcher not encouraged general practitioners in areas of mass unemployment to use the facility generously as a means of massaging the unemployment totals for her own political ends.

Cameron’s £600 million initiative is no more than a means to begin playing the numbers game again. Private firms will be recruited to ‘train’ the unemployed in writing CVs and performing at job interviews, which few will be able to obtain. And those firms’ ranks will be filled by those previously unemployed to reduce the overall figures.

No doubt Cameron, like the current government, has more plans to shave the figures: like offering ‘job experience’ and ‘start your own business’ initiatives to give them a further massage.

We have heard it all before.

If this is the best Cameron can come-up with: the electorate can be forgiven for thinking that, perhaps, it is better to vote for the devil you know than for one who fails to address the issues of ensuring recovery; reducing debt and achieving full employment.

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2 Responses

  1. So what happened to family values, single parents taking-up council accomodation and immigrants bleading local resources and social security dry?

    Instead he attacks the one group that his predecessors helped to create!

    Can we expect more of this economically inept drivel?

    • I hope not, Cynical.

      This is pure fantasy…

      Take the 19% success rate of a government pilot scheme to get those on incapacity benefit back into work. Then apply it to all those on incapacity benefit (forgetting that some of those figures have already been reduced by the 19%) to arrive at your target – and then cost it at an apparent £600 million. Then say that you will use this money to employ private firms to, among other things, assess all the 2.6 million on incapacity benefit with a view to placing them on Jobseekers Allowance.

      Wrong. What you mean to say is that the private firms will be instructed to reduce the numbers on incapacity benefit by 19%. That is the way it will actually work. It will be a target-driven reduction with little attention being paid to clinical need.

      So much for ‘Compassionate Conservatism.’

      The medical community will be up in arms if the Conservatives try this.

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