Posts Tagged ‘Accommodation’

Secular Talk: Economic Policy Group Shows ‘Welfare Queens’ Have Little Factual Basis

February 7, 2016

This is another excellent political snippet from Secular Talk. In this video, Kyle Kulinski discusses the findings of the Economic Policy Institute, as reported in the International Business Times, that ‘welfare queens’ don’t really exist. ‘Welfare queens’ was the term given by Reagan to lazy, unemployed women, who didn’t want to work and just scrounged off welfare. The Institute’s study shows that most of the people on welfare are the working poor, people in work whose wages don’t cover their basic needs. The report states that

* 2/3 of all people on needs-based public assistance are either working, or have a family member who’s working.

* About half of all recipients of public assistance are working full time.

The report states outright that indolence and laziness aren’t pushing up the welfare bills. Low pay is. And the reports goes on to say that massive bonuses and pay is awarded to corporate executives, it’s appropriate to ask whether corporations are passing their societal responsibilities to tax payers.

* Nearly half of all workers in the forestry, fishing and hunting sectors receive help of some kind.

* This is also true of a 1/3 of those in retail, recreation, entertainment, accommodation and food sector.

Kulinski makes the point that the solution is to the raise the minimum wage. He states that many Republicans actually do want the minimum wage to be raised. He attacks the Republicans, who want to close down welfare programmes, arguing that this would make America Somalia, and force people to starve. He also makes it very clear that he has no time for hypocritical Republicans, who say they love Jesus, but don’t want to put Christ’s concern for the poor and excluded into effect. If America were to raise the minimum wage to a living wage, $45 billion in taxes would be saved. Kulinski points out that this is because workers, when they can’t make enough to live on, turn to the state safety net, which is provided by the taxpayer. Thus, if you pay people a living wage, the Republicans could cut the welfare bill, including Medicaid. All you have to do is make Walmart pay their workers more. He argues that Walmart would be able to afford the extra $2 an hour paid to people, and that the cost passed on to the public would at most be 8c more. This would not stop people going to Walmart.

Kulinski concludes that the system now works by making a miniscule percentage extremely rich, who then give crumbs to everyone else. They have to go on welfare to make ends meet, but the corporations have bought congress, so it looks in the other direction. Kulinski states in very forthright terms that this must go.

The show also has some of the cartoons showing the hypocritical attitude towards poor women. When they’re pregnant, the Republicans are desperate not to let them abort the child. When they have the child, the Republicans are hurling abuse and stating they should never have got pregnant in the first place. And there’s a cartoon of a fat cat businessman on a mountain of money accusing a starving worker of being greedy.

This study really should surprise no one. It’s been that way for about twenty years. At the end of the 1990s the Financial Times, then a Liberal newspaper, stated that the vast majority of the poor across the Developed World were working. This is the case for America, Australasia and Europe. They reviewed a programme on the radio about poverty in New Zealand, which showed the problems working people in the land of the Kiwi and the All Blacks had keeping body and soul together. Same as hard-workin’ folks in the Appalachians. And there has been report after report, study after study, showing it in Britain.

And it’s fairly clear that, despite the vilification of people on welfare as benefit frauds and scroungers, aIDS, Cameron and Osbo are very aware of this. No, ‘aIDS’ isn’t a spelling mistake. I’ve decided to call the ‘Gentleman Ranker’ aIDS, because like that foul disease he’s determined to kill people, and spread his vile poison throughout society. But back to the main point. IDS and the others have passed regulations stipulating that if you’re receiving benefit for low pay, you get a phone from your ‘Job Coach’ encouraging you to get a better paid job. In order to cut the welfare bill, of course. It’s a tacit acknowledgement that they know the majority of the poor in this country are working, and aren’t being paid a proper, living wage. But they really don’t want to admit that, as the free market is supposed to make sure that everyone gets what they deserve, in a rising tide that lifts all boats due to trickle down economics. This was rubbish when Reagan and Thatcher spouted it. Hunter S. Thompson had a go at it in Generation of Swine. But they’re still going on as if it were all true, thirty years later.

There’s only one sure way to tackle in work poverty, and that is to demand the minimum wage be raised. And to vote out the people, who are blocking this. Like AIDS Ian Duncan Smith.

From 2012: Private Eye on Incompetence, Profiteering Bureaucracy and Racism in G4S

April 12, 2014

This is also from the Eye for the 20th April – 3rd of May 2012.

Outsaucing News

G4S, which earns most of its money from the taxpayer, has docked its chief executive Nick Buckle’s bonus over a messed-up bid to take over a Danish cleaning company that cost his firm £55m last year. But never fear: he still get his basic £1.9m salary.

G4s will also still have plenty of cash to pay for the cock-up, plus Buckles’ inflated pay7, since it keeps winning major public service contracts here in the UK.

Last month the UK Border Agency awarded it “prime” contracts worth around £300m to run asylum transport and accommodation in two of the five national regions. In true Big Society fashion, G4S will itself outsource much of this work to local charities and companies (much as workfare schemes are farmed out by A4E).

Despite the extra layers of management and contracting, not to mention the bumper executive pay and the profits demanded by shareholders that such deals entail, UKBA still thinks it will save £150m through the £620m contracts without services suffering.

In January, the home affairs select committee concluded, after a string of scandals including the death in G4S custody of Jimmy Mubenga and racist behaviour among guards, that the government must not “wash its hands of responsibility for detainees just because the service is contracted out”. But by outsourcing prime contracts to bungling Buckles and co a few weeks later, and for his firm to then subcontract the work in return for a decent fee, this seems precisely what the government is doing.

This shows what such Public-Private Partnerships entail: layers of bureaucracy, in which different companies and their shareholders expect a profit, which would be unacceptable in a state-owned enterprise; inflated salaries for chief officers, and massive cuts and savings for the funding allocated for the service, resulting in poor performance. But then, the actual quality of service seems to be very much a secondary consideration. The real reason for such partnerships is to give state contracts to private enterprises run by Tory donors and providing jobs for Tory politicians and apparatchiks.

Atos Accused of Misleading MPs to Get Government Contract

March 22, 2014

atoskillsgraf

Atos were in the I newspaper again yesterday following accusations by MPs that the company got the contract through deliberately misleading statements about providing access for disabled claimants in the tender document it submitted to the Department of Work and Pensions. Atos claimed that over 700 healthcare providers, including 56 NHS hospitals, had agreed to provide accommodation to claimants at the place of assessment. This would create a ‘hyper-local’ network, which would mean that no claimant would be more than an hour’s journey away from the assessment centre.

The Public Accounts Committee, however, were told that in fact Atos had contracted less than 100 hundred healthcare providers to provide claimants with the accommodation they needed. As a result, since the scheme was launched, 40 per cent of all claimants had been forced to travel for more than an hour to get to an assessment centre.

The company, naturally, claimed that they had done nothing wrong, and said that they had the written agreement of all the trusts referred to in the document that they could be named.

The last statement does not refute the point made by the Public Accounts Committee. They may have had the agreement of the trusts they mentioned that they could be named, but Atos has not said that the trusts had contracted to provide accommodation. So, more lies by a company now notorious for its mendacity and deliberate deceit in throwing claimants off benefits.

And they’ve won yet another government contract, this time to provide the childcare support vouchers. Yet another example of how nothing exceeds like failure, corruption and incompetence in modern Tory Britain.