Outside the marginals

a commentary on the politics that followed the UK 2010 & 2015 elections

Three ways to cut welfare

  1. Tighten eligibility criteria so fewer people can claim
  2. Reduce the actual amounts payable to specific claimants
  3. Create an economy where fewer people need to claim welfare

Which ways are the Tories pursuing?

(1) and (2) you can pursue if you have prepared the ground to make “welfare” unacceptable and cast all recipients as “scroungers”. The ground was so prepared in the last parliament.

(3) is more difficult as it requires imagination and requires an acceptance of the idea that government has a wider role than many Tories want to accept.

(1) and (2) cause hardship – but does it matter if “scroungers”, “immigrants” (and the working poor) are the only people affected?

(1) and (2) benefit the economy only in as much as they decrease immediate government spending.

(3) Is long-term and the results probably won’t be seen before the next election…. Ah, I understand.

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