In Defence of Jobseekers Allowance

This article seeks to address the concerns of the small but vocal minority of people who see Jobseekers Allowance as a problem, a leach on society. The “I have a job so why can’t they get one” crowd, that twists the welfare debate to such a degree that common sense is no longer heard.

Job Centre: The number of JSA claimants fell by 1.6% month-on-month.

The idea behind Jobseekers Allowance (JSA) is to help people into work. The reality is something different, something sinister.

If JSA was suddenly cancelled, the cost for the country would be far more than the £4.2bn a year the government currently spends on JSA. They would have to turn to food banks to live, they are driven to innumerable health problems which drive them to the NHS costing far more than £72.40 a week for JSA.

It’s like putting oil in the car, it costs you some money your engine doesn’t seize up and cost you hundreds more in repairs.

We can’t assume that these people are “lazy scroungers who want to sit on their arse while indulging in drinking and drug taking. Just 70p out of every £100 is lost to fraud.

The media fuelled by the coalition government) force feed us ideological dogma about the benefit system. They are lying to us to make people angry, to make hard working people scared, so they conform to an economic system that is run by the rich and for the rich. If people are angry about the benefits system it’s easy to miss the massive fraud which big business and the super-rich engage in endemically.

HMRC estimates that some £30bn (Other sources put it at closer to £100bn) is under paid in tax while benefit fraud stands at £1.6bn. That is the real scandal to be angry about

Companies like HSBC are helping their wealthy customers break the law to avoid paying tax. Others use dodgy connections with politicians to make millions, while they systematically erode the rights of workers making trade union action impossible.

The costs of joblessness are enormous, local governments alone are spending £345 million a year to support homeless people, mental health issues can plague people for decades and cost millions in upkeep. A jobless person forced off JSA, for one of the innumerable and spurious reason, could then be forced into theft to feed their starving families;  then the tax payer would ending up footing a much large bill for housing them in prison.

Giving the jobless a wage they can survive on and taking them out of the climate of intimidation, fear, and bullying that they encounter at the Job Centre could help hundreds of thousands of people into work. These people need money for bus tickets to get to interviews, cash for interview clothes, and a supportive environment where they are not dehumanized and demoralized; only then they will find work.

DWP - headless woman interpreted as having a headache

What’s more once you help more people into work the economy will grow. More people will be paying taxes and creating wealth. More people will be spending money allowing businesses to grow and employ yet more people.

But big business and the super-rich don’t want this, they want more people out of work because it suppresses wages, and makes it easier to fire people.

Jobseekers Allowance is an invaluable safety net, one which helps this country grow and prosper. Reform are needed, cuts are not.

 

Originally published on Socyberty

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