THE SPITEFUL TAX!


The Architect:

 The odious failure, Ian Duncan Smith – some will remember his brief tenure as leader of the Conservative Party – is relishing his position as the PRFDTWS. (Person Responsible For Destroying The Welfare State). Ironically, a system which served him well when he was discharged from the Army in 1981. Prior to joining Marconi later that year, he was claiming what we now know as Job Seekers Allowance.

 Now a millionaire in his own right, he made his money on the back of Public Speaking engagements. Which is strange as he was known, during his time as Leader of the Conservative Party, as ‘the quiet man of politics’. In fact the Labour back benchers used to stand and put their fingers to their lips when he rose to speak.

His time as Leader did not do him or the Party any favours. He was embarrassed in 2002 by the Newsnight investigative journalist, Michael Crick. Duncan Smith’s CV stated that he had attended the University of Perugia when in fact he had attended Universita per Stranieri in Perugia which at that time did not grant any degrees.

 As Secretary of State For Works And Pensions Duncan Smith has made sweeping and radical changes. All based on his Welfare Reform Policy. Basically he has reintroduced “means testing”. It is almost like going back to the bad old days of the Parish whereby an official would come to your house and physically assess your needs based on your goods and chattel.

In my opinion, this is where the sheer hypocrisy of the man shines through. For example, recently a stupid woman was taken to court for ‘fiddling‘ the Benefit System. I say stupid because it was found that she could have actually legally claimed twice the amount she was getting. Was she stupid though? No one had bothered to explain to her exactly how much she could legitimately claim or, what other Benefits she was entitled to.

Contrast that to an immigrant from the EU. He/she will be told, on entry, exactly how much money they can claim from the State, how to claim it, how to claim housing and be given assistance in doing so. All this, without ever paying a penny into the system! As an aside, ask any Forces personnel how much help they got when thrown out of a job because of Defence cuts?

 Controversy seems to follow this man and you have to call into question Cameron’s zeal for keeping him in High Office. It could be due to the fact that Duncan Smith is a very vindictive man. In 2002 Michael Crick of Newsnight fame initiated an investigation into the pay received by Duncan Smith’s wife Betsy during her time as his diary secretary from September 2001 to December 2002.

Crick’s report was due to be aired on the Thursday before the Conservative Party Conference but it was pulled by BBC executives who expressed concern about running the story. They feared that it might be part of a smear campaign by individuals with an interest in Duncan Smith’s downfall. As a consequence of the executive’s nervousness, Crick had to face Duncan Smith with his evidence and await his comments. He then laid out the details of the investigation to the House of Commons Committee on Standards and Privileges, this at the request of Duncan Smith’s solicitors.

 Here is why, in my opinion, Duncan Smith is a vindictive man. An email written by Vanessa Gearson in January 2003; she worked in Duncan Smith’s office, expressed concern that the allowance may become the subject of a journalistic expose. A copy of this email found its way to Crick’s investigative team. People close to Duncan Smith intimated that the Party’s Chief Executive, Mark MacGregor, along with his friend, Robbie Gibb, a Newsnight producer, had colluded in the leak of the document. IDS was cleared by a Parliamentary watchdog; the report stated that there was no evidence of Duncan Smith making any improper claims under the Additional Costs Allowance in respect of his home. In a “sting in the tail”, they added that a significant proportion of Mrs Duncan Smith’s allowance and that paid to Miss Annabelle Eyre and Mrs Christine Watson in their roles as Private Secretary to the Leader of The Opposition would more appropriately have been funded from Short Money rather than out of the Parliamentary Staffing Allowance.

The Parliamentary Committee found that IDS’s arrangements were not ideal and that no rules had been broken. This, however was not enough for Duncan Smith. In 2006 an internal Party investigation exonerated MacGregor. Duncan Smith laid the blame for his downfall as Party Leader completely at the feet of MacGregor and Vanessa Gearson and threatened to resign the Party whip if either of them were ever able to stand as Conservative candidates.

I think you can guess which way lack lustre Cameron jumped.

 The Tax:

 The Under Occupancy or “Bedroom Tax” which Duncan Smith proudly pushed through Parliament recently will effect over half a million people in this country. It is a despicable piece of legislation drawn up by an uncaring, insidious man. To make sure that the poor are made even poorer, as if this legislation were not enough, he has capped Benefit increase to 1% for the next three years.

 From the 1st of April this year, tenants of Housing Associations and Social Landlords in the UK will be subject to The Under Occupancy – Welfare Reform (Bedroom Tax). They could be hit by a 25% reduction in their Housing Benefit if they under occupy their homes.

 The new rules will restrict the size of accommodation you can receive Housing Benefit for, based on the number of people in your household.

The new rules allow one bedroom in a household for:

  • every adult couple (married or unmarried)
  • any other adult aged 16 or over
  • any two children of the same sex aged under 16
  • any two children aged under 10
  • any other child, (other than a foster child or child whose main home is elsewhere)
  • a carer (or team of carers) who do not live with you but provide you or your partner with overnight care.

 This will mean, one spare room will see a 14% reduction in Housing Benefit.

Two spare rooms will see a reduction of 25% in Housing Benefit.

 660,000 tenants and their families will be affected nationwide. Additionally, 44,700 working people and their families will see a 17.5% cut in Council Tax Support.

 This spiteful attack on the bereaved, the infirm, the disabled and the old, whether they be in work or not will purge thousands of tenants – some 300,000 of which are parents, from their homes and neighbourhoods into low rent ghettos. The princely sum saved by the DWP will be around £500 million. Compared to the deficit, a flea bite on the surface of the moon. Despite this, Ian Duncan Smith is quite happy to feed, house and clothe foreign immigrants while the indigenous people are forced to live in tents.

 Smith boldly claims that the saving of said £500 million will help solve the housing crisis, what utter rubbish! The Empty Housing Agency says there are some 725,000 empty homes – owned by large corporations, banks, offshore companies, local authorities, other Government departments and, by private individuals – in England. With that portfolio you could house around 1.8 million people.

Despite that figure, an estimated 700,000 tenants, many of them old and / or disabled – some put the figure as high as two thirds – will be thrown into crisis by Smith’s arrogance and landlord indifference.

 In Conclusion:

This callous Coalition must be stopped, it is ruining peoples livelihoods and prying into every aspect of our lives. If you thought Labour were bad, think “doppelganger”, because that is what this Coalition is, a duplicate of the despicable Labour Party and its ruinous policies.

How long will it be before a window tax is reintroduced? It is not as ridiculous as it sounds, Conservatives by their very nature are money hungry. They will use any and every devious device possible to fill the coffers. The “Bedroom Tax” is just the tip of the iceberg and, for what? So they can send money to despots around the world or feed the every hungry EU money pot?

Labour will do nothing, under Miliband they are as useless in Opposition as either Hague or Michael Howard ever was. UKIP are the only Party to offer a real lifeline to the beleaguered British Public. Punish this innocuous Coalition at the Ballot box by voting UKIP.

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Author: philbo62

Retired businessman, always looking for inspiration and new ideas. Author of two books, writer of poetry.

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