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8 June 2016

Them & Us

Benefits incentive?

Millionaire and former government minister Iain Duncan Smith claimed that cutting welfare payments and capping benefits would 'incentivise' unemployed people to find work - the Tory equivalent of a cattle prod.

Unfortunately for the architect of the hated bedroom tax, a year-long study in Oxford has found that taking away people's benefits actually made them less likely to find work.

According to the study's authors: "Higher benefit losses may correlate with higher rent and larger families, and financial hardship; as childcare and debt are established barriers to work, it is perhaps unsurprising that customers with higher benefit losses are less rather than more likely to get into or back into work."

Hunt payout...

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt is keen to get his 'cost neutral' pay and conditions offer accepted by junior doctors. Meanwhile, Jezza has shot to the top of the cabinet earnings league table having trousered a 853,000 dividend payout from Hotcourses, a company he co-founded.

...and Hunt cuts

Any contrition by Hunt over the junior doctors' dispute quickly evaporated as it emerged that he plans to slash 170 million in funding for community pharmacies, jeopardising 3,000 high street chemists. Charities reckon this will hit the frail and elderly, with an estimated extra one million people a month having to visit a GP to seek advice.

Cause for celebration?

Closing hundreds of London Underground ticket offices has increased safety concerns and frustration for the travelling public, as well as slashing jobs. Yet, according the RMT transport union, these appalling cutbacks were "celebrated" by managers who "spent an enjoyable evening in the luxurious setting of the RAF club in Piccadilly".