Thursday, 15 September 2011

How To Save A Billion

An extract from the debate in the House of Lords on the Welfare Reform Bill, 13 September:

Lord Low of Dalston: Tony Blair is reputed to have asked what you had to do to save £1 billion on welfare and been told that a million people had to lose a thousand pounds. The Government’s welfare reforms are aimed at saving £18 billion. That is an awful lot of people who have to lose a thousand pounds—or rather more if you want to reduce the number of losers. Many of these losers are disabled people, the most vulnerable in our society, whom the Government have pledged to protect.
[House of Lords, Official Report, (Hansard), Vol. 730, No. 194, Col. 668]

Assuming the Government is not going to have a go at pensioners - always politically a no-go area - then the 5.8 million working age benefit claimants (of one sort or another) had better watch out. Note: Only 2.5 million are off sick or unemployed, the others are claiming Housing and/or Council Tax Benefit and could be working or retired, and there are 0.6 million 'lone parents' i.e. widows, single mothers/fathers. See DWP website.

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