Full on fascism

i don’t think there’s any other description for it


But it’s good to see that he still wants some sections of society to do better:


When I was in my twenties I was so often ill that employers would not employ me. I had to take temporary work.
I wonder if people like me have even crossed their minds.
Probably not.


Of course not. If they get ill they just fall back on the trust fund.


The elderly (over 55s?) members of the workforce who are unfortunate to be unemployed will be disproportionately adversely effected.


What can one expect from the guy who stuffed the NHS and junior doctors. These people are just nasty.


When you have dealt with benefits scroungers ,who tell you to your face that you are stupid to have a job, you might change your tune.

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There may well be malingerers on benefits but there are also many who genuinely cannot work. Is it likely ‘the system’ will be able to tell the difference, and protect the vulnerable?

Listening to a radio call in yesterday, there was a man who said his son had to prove to the benefits every week that he still had Downs Syndrome. Still??!! How cretinously stupid and callous can the system get if it is already like this?

Billy and Brian provided a perfect diptych of links above to demonstrate the character of Britain’s current government.


That sounds like a good rationale to deprive the sick of their medication.


What is wrong with the concept of targeting public funds, provided by the taxpayers, on those who need them, If the system roots out the benefits fraudsters then there is more money for genuine claimants.If only 5% of claims are fraudulent the sum of money released is still considerable.Most of the benefits fraudsters that I came across were readily identifiable,

They are far stricter in France. Anyone who gets benefits is investigated and made to keep delaring their circumstances and for those of working age, they are asked to go to interviews or else their money is removed. I was threatened with removal of my bit of RSA that I claimed after OH death unless I went for interviews but jobs that came up were over an hour away and not suitable and then when I got to 60, they finally agreed that people of my age were retiring not working and there was nothing for older people so left me alone until I stopped claiming it. We both had paid in thousands to the SS over the years previously so did not feel guilty at getting something back. A young neighbour had his chômage stopped because he would not work, he soon got on his scooter and found a job!


Quite right too, my teenage stepson made no effort to find work when he left school and lived on benefits for quite some considerable time, despite our urgings to make him accept his responsability. Finally his benefits were stopped and he soon found work. He has been in work ever since and has raised a family on his income.

My wife Fran was granted a disability pension and early retirement after several traumatic years working in a care home. 12 hour shifts all alone in a building looking after 40 or 50 elderly, and often mentally disturbed, people was too much. Lifting them on her own in the middle of the night, cleaning up after their loss of bowel control, and the constant fear of fire because of the habits of some of them, took its toll. For several years afterwards we, because it was complicated, were required to send back detailed forms signed off by the doctor to maintain her pension until finally they said that there was no need anymore because it was clear that she wasn’t going to get better.

In neither case would I describe the actions of the authorities, as fascist, and think @billybutcher you haven’t correctly understood the term .


One point David out of interest, was your case dealing with the French system or UK system.

I used to volunteer with an organisation that helped - in the main - feckless young men like your stepson. They generally saw their benefits as a right (which it was) and as wages. They felt they had a choice between working and claiming benefits.

I knew unemployed people who were, in effect, third-generation jobseekers. There was no culture of work in their family or where they lived, and no understanding of the self-respect that comes from being able to earn a living.

No amount of reason persuaded these people that it would be better for them to look for work. I suppose it’s tough love, and it’s certainly not what the present UK government is doing (with its focus on targets and reductions), but in every example I saw, cutting benefits was the only thing that was going to encourage them to look for work.

Note I am distinguishing healthy people who are capable of work from those with medical conditions like our own @Jane_Williamson. The debate and the remedies are nuanced (in a way that the present government could not begin to understand).

I agree with this entirely so let’s start by taxing wealthy people properly and removing the tax breaks (bribes) given to, in many cases, businesses worth hundreds of billions of pounds. Sam the Scrounger certainly shouldn’t have a single penny more than he’s entitled to but there are probably trillions of pounds that need to be saved from the public purse or obtained by the public purse before we get to him claiming he can’t work because he’s got a dodgy shoulder when he plays football each Saturday. Once we’ve stopped paying the likes of Amazon or Lady Michelle Mone and have clawed every penny they unnecessarily received, let’s go after scammy Sam with full energy but until then I’d much rather government stopped pretending all this other stuff isn’t going and just focusing on Sam. Benefit fraudis like small change you find in the pocket of an old jacket compared to these things, and there’s rarely any real oversight whether governments giving money to business or allowing businesses to avoid / evade paying their fare share actually benefits the public in any way.

Every time the pension protection fund has to step in because billionaire Phillip Green has run the business he bought into the ground for example that’s billions that should be coming from him and his associates. Governments of all kinds have no problem with tightening laws and increasing punishments for ‘the little guy’ when they do something wrong, but when it comes to businesses and wealthy people the direction of travel is almost always towards loosening restrictions, making them less liable for their actions and making it far more difficult to prosecute them even for illegality.


If you ignore the emotive language that Billy has used this is only media speculation, no one knows what’s in the Autumn Statement as yet.

Loads of points to address for which I don’t have time. But just to pick up the last point of Tim’s, the Independant is reporting Hunt’s actual words, though I aggree it is not yet announced as policy - it feels like one of the Tory “run it up the flagpole and see who salutes” exercises.

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Just like all political parties before their annual conference or a manifesto launch.

Not really, it has been a constant feature of this Tory government’s way of managing public opinion and seeking to make the previously unthinkable the political norm.

Pre-announce “policy”, see how much push-back there is and reign back if it is too controversial (usually while quietly introducing something else not quite as extreme under the smoke screen created).

Well, OK.

You do know that 38% of UC claimants are in work? (source: UK Government Statistics) - That’s 2.35 million or just shy of 8.3% of the UK workforce (not counting self-employed).
Think about that for a second - 1 in 12 are in work but earn so little they need to claim benefits. Assuming that their employers make a profit then that is just a convoluted way of subsidising those employers or their shareholders from the public purse.

It that reasonable? - Not sure that I think it is. In fact I think Tesco recently came in for a bit of stick as it announced large profits at the same time as a substantial fraction of its workforce was on benefits.

To @David_Spardo and @Porridge I don’t doubt the veracity of your personal experience of people who quickly found jobs after finding benefits withdraw or families with multiple generations out of work but the plural of anecdote is not data. The idea of “multigenerational unemployment” was debunked by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation in 2012 (see here and here) - although 1% of families were identified with multiple generations out of work no single example of a family with three generations persistently out of work could be found even in deprived areas of Glasgow and Teeside.

Also the culture in the DWP is so toxic with claimants issued with sanctions arbitrarily imposed and the (in)famous case of a man with terminal cancer who was declared fit to work, it seems unlikely that many would have the stamina to continually deal with the DWP if they are able to find work.

Yes, despite the fact that it is pretty difficult to get benefits out of the DWP there is fraud and overpayment (some £8.3B in 2022-2023).

The £8.3B figure is just 3.1% of the DWP budget. If fact actual fraud as opposed to error is thought to amount to around £6.2B or just 2.7%.

However there is also underpayment of benefits (especially pensions) to the tune of £3.3bn - increasing hardship for the poorest in society.

I’m not clear how much the current figures have been enhanced by fraud in Covid subsidy payments which were widely abused (I think the official figure is £4.2B) by companies.

Certainly the background level of fraud pre-Covid was below 1% - a long way below your 5% which is , I suspect, what you “intuitively” think the fraud rate is - the disparity between the two might well be a measure of the effectiveness of the government’s message that those on benefits are work-shy and dishonest.

The chronically unemployed often have complex reasons for being so - ill health being one of them. Withdrawing free prescriptions is just going to make it even harder for many to keep their lives in some sort of stable order (i.e make it even harder for them to find work).

As for @David_Spardo point about this not being fascist - I disagree.

It is hard to pin down Fascism as a single ideology but a common element is social hierarchy, ideas of “master races” and especially of the lower echelons being kept in their place. In practice for Nazi Germany this included identifying many groups as sub-human and worthy only of elimination from society. I definitely hear echoes of the 3rd Reich’s “useless eaters” in this announcement.


Might be a good idea to consider first going after the tax evaders. Both big and small.

(Edited to agree with @kirsteastevenson whose eloquent post I hadn’t scrolled down to before hastily replying)