Once upon a time, there was such a thing as full employment. And before nearly all the council houses were sold off at stupidly low prices, getting pregnant was not the only way to get one.
Nowadays, people can be better off on benefits than in employment. You see, when you are working, you have to start paying for things which would have been free if you were on the Dole — prescriptions, dental work, and so forth. And the minimum wage is a complete joke. £5.77 an hour would be an insult, even if that was after tax. There is a complicated and confusing system of tax credits for working families, which puts people off applying for them.
There is another, hidden cost to the benefit culture. I work bloody hard for what I’ve got, and I take bloody good care of it. If I break something, or lose it, nobody’s going to just buy me another one. A kid who gets a £70 pair of Nike trainers out of their mum’s benefit simply isn’t going to be so careful. It’s easy come, easy go. If it took them a full day to earn the price of those trainers, they might appreciate the value of them — and realise that other people also value their possessions. People are not born knowing right from wrong; they have to learn the difference. Not having to work for things means people never learn respect for property.
Unemployment should not be punished, but neither should it be seen as an attractive option.
So, here’s the plan to get Britain back to work:
Invest in rebuilding British industry. It will be cheaper to pay a small amount now to ensure people have jobs to do, than to keep paying them benefits.
Advertise wages net of all taxes. £18 000 p.a. should mean £18 000 per annum to you — not £13 500 p.a. to you and £4 500 p.a. to the taxman.
Do away with tax credits, and simply raise the threshhold before income tax kicks in. Doesn’t need half as much administration.
If these measures require us to Reform the entire tax system, then so be it.
Scrap child benefit for the second and subsequent children. We are already overpopulated. Reducing the birth rate below replacement rate would reverse population growth.