The biggest scroungers are pensioners – How dare you say that!
Of course no politician would dream of ever saying that as it is political suicide and of course the pensioner – the grey vote – is necessary to any political party hoping to form a government. (Figures show 76% of pensioners vote yet just 44% of 18 – 25 year olds)
Yet the Tories are going out of their way to say they will not take money from the pensioner but it is inevitable if they continue with their policies – or for that matter if Labour continue with these Tory policies too. The detail of that I discussed here and prior to that the Daily Telegraph let the cat out of the bag with Tory plans to hit over 500,000 pensioners in social housing with the bedroom tax.
Quite simply the chancellor has said the Tories will cut a further £12 billion from the welfare benefit bill of £170 billion this year. Yet of that £170 billion total welfare benefit bill a huge £116 billion goes to the pensioner and just £54 billion to those of working-age as Iain Duncan Smith confirmed in a parliamentary written answer.
Here are two very simple factual graphs:
Firstly, the percentage spend, and this is also used to highlight the difference between pensioner benefits and how much we the taxpayer spend on dole (JSA) which the public believes is 41% of the total welfare benefit spend when it fact it is just over 2%.
Yet if you really want to compare pensioner versus working-age welfare benefit spend in terms of £ billions per year the graph below starkly highlights the comparison.
As you can see dole (JSA) is just over £4 billion per year yet pensioner benefits amounts to £116 billion per year or 29 times more welfare benefits goes to the pensioner than to the working-age unemployed
However the real issue is the Chancellor has said that he requires a further £12 billion of cuts to the welfare benefit budget and if this is to come from working-age benefits and leave the pensioner untouched this means a 22% cut to ALL working age benefits this being £12 billion from the total £54 billion.
That is impossible. JSA of £72.40 per week would need to be cut to £56.47 per week for example and every other working-age benefit would need a similar 22% cut.
The Tories have NO ALTERNATIVE but to reduce pensioner benefits to achieve this stated £12 billion per year cut and as I explained here Universal Credit will increase the overall welfare bill by at least £20 billion per year as it involves the 100% take-up of all benefits the claimant is entitled to. This makes the £12 billion cut needing to be £32 billion per year or a near 60% cut to ALL working age benefits if the pensioner is NOT to face benefit cuts and means for example JSA would reduce from £72.40 per week to less than £30 per week!
Let’s return to what politicians say. Cameron has said he will not take away the winter fuel allowance (£2.14 billion per year) or free TV licences for the over 75s (£606 million per year) and instead he focuses upon the young for they, in political speak and myth, are the real scroungers despite what the above factual data reveals.
Let’s ban the under 21s from receiving Housing Benefit and JSA he says and portrays young people are the shirker and scrounger. He also knowingly lies about this too as e can see from a House of Commons paper (SN/SP/6473) on this subject released 17 February 2015.
As you can see I have emphasised two issues. Osborne saying £10 billion of welfare benefit cuts in the first year of the next Parliament (2015/16) and Cameron saying this is £10 billion from the £80 billion we spend on working-age welfare benefits or just 12.5 per cent.
YET Iain Duncan Smith, Secretary of State Work and Pensions (SSWP) said a few months back in a parliamentary answer that the official 2015 figure for working-age welfare spend is just £54 billion – So Cameron inflates this by 50% and that is 3 years ago too! Instead of the 12.5% we see that in the first year alone this £10 billion is 50% higher at £18.52%
IDS’s official figures for DWP spend is below to prove my many points:
So now we have established the amount of the benefit cuts and the percentage of them and the fact that this level of cuts cannot possibly come from working-age welfare benefits alone that means, and can only mean, one thing – Pensioners face welfare benefit cuts from the Tories and from Tory policy after the next election.
Note well that if the Labour Party should form the next government and continue with Universal Credit they will still have to find the additional £20 billion this will cost as every claimant whether working or not will receive every penny they are entitled to.
Just a few quick points. The banning of Housing Benefit to those under 21 years of age is truly incompetent and will cost more. There are 298,000 under 25s claiming HB yet only 125k of them are single with no dependent children and you cant take away HB from children. Extrapolated this leaves above 60,000 single under 21s currently claiming HB which if taken away would only cut £300 million from the HB bill.
Yet, also to factor in are two very significant factors. Firstly of the under 21s who are the vast majority live in the private rented sector as age demographics show from The English Housing Survey who on average receive over 30% less than a single person in social housing as they only receive the shared accommodation rate (SAR). Extrapolating the figures reveals this would cut circa £193m from the HB bill.
Yet, secondly to factor in is that single under 21s claiming HB sees 58% of these are female and the clear yet perverse incentive under this plan is to….get pregnant. If they did so the overall welfare benefit bill would increase by circa £260 million per year and cost more.
But hey these are young people and they are the welfare benefit scroungers aren’t they!!
Get a job you idle shirkers!! So what happens if these 18 – 21 year olds get a job? They cant afford to live in their own place given no HB so they will stay with mum and dad. Yet in doing so that means if mum and/or dad get HB that will see a non-dependant deduction. BUT far far more importantly if mum or dad are working and their 18 – 21 year-old offsping is working and all at NMW then that household will get cut with the benefit cap and lose even more HB!
In other words 19 year old Little Johnny gets a job and he cant afford to live in his on place and his parents cant afford for him to live with them!! What another piece of truly back of a fag packet policy with no evidence base and dreamt up so the Tories can lie yet again and pretend they are not going to cut pensioner benefits by flying this absolutely pig’s earhole of a deflection policy!
Of course given that the under 21s who are single will get nothing in HB and the majority of them live in the private rented sector just how many of them are going to get evicted and become homeless? Yes all of them who live in PRS and so hugely increased HB for homeless costs and a huge further pressure on social landlords to accommodate as well….yet this will not do so. Anyone care to suggest where 18 – 21 years CAN live?
Bring back the workhouse!!
Oh hang on I just realised they can all become lodgers in the 500,000 + pensioner households in social households hit by the bedroom tax so the pensioner can afford to stay there! Seeing as though the Telegraph says the social housing pensioners each have 4 or more spare bedrooms those scrounging pensioners going to be coining it in aren’t they!