Posts Tagged ‘Winter Fuel Payments’

IEA Neoliberal Think Tank at UKIP Conference

May 2, 2014


UKIP is an anomaly, in that most of its grass-roots supporters are left-wing – almost as left as Labour party supporters – while its policies are extreme Right-wing Neoliberal. Jess pointed out that Mark Littlewood, the director of the Neoliberal think tank, the Institute of Economic Affairs, addressed this year’s UKIP party conference, according to the anti-Fascist magazine, Searchlight. Littlewood was particularly concerned at the scale of state spending, which he strongly urged should be cut.

“Mark Littlewood, director general of the free-market think-tank the Institute of Economic Affairs, complained that welfare including pensions in the UK would cost £220 billion in 2014. “We are in an overtaxing, overspending, over regulating state,” he said.
“UKIP goes for victory in 2014:”

The Searchlight article is at

As with many such think tanks, it’s been claimed that the IEA are somehow not political as they are at least formally independent of political parties. This does not alter the fact that they are a Neoliberal organisation pressing for the adoption of extreme Right-wing policies, such as the virtual destruction of the welfare state and more privatisation and deregulation. Again, Jess provides further information on this. This is a list of the think tank’s publication from Wikipedia, making it very clear where this organisation’s political views lie:

“Green, David, Benefit Dependency: How Welfare Undermines Independence, IEA, 1998
Green, David, An End to Welfare Rights: The Rediscovery of Independence, IEA, 1999
Green, David and Casper, Laura, Delay, Denial and Dilution, IEA, 1999
Green, David, Stakeholder Health Insurance, Civitas, 2000
Green, David, ‘The Neo-Liberal Perspective’ in The Student’s Companion to Social Policy (2nd ed, Blackwell, 2003).
Green, David, Grove, Emma and Martin, Nadia, Crime and Civil Society: Can we become a more law-abiding people?, Civitas, 2005
Green, David, We’re (Nearly) all Victims Now: how political correctness is undermining our liberal culture, Civitas, 2006
Green, David, Individualists Who Co-operate: Education and welfare reform befitting a free people, Civitas, 2009
Green, David, Prosperity With Principles: Some Policies For Economic Growth, Civitas, 2010″

Or John A Lincoln “The Restrictive Society’, IEA , 1967.

And in stark contrast to the views of many UKIP members against Workfare, the IEA are very staunch supporters of this form of modern forced labour. This from their policy statement, published in 2010:

Key (summarised) parts are a p.5
“Introducing a ‘workfare’ system
The minimum number of working hours required to qualify for in-work benefits should be raised, but this must not be pursued in isolation. If so, it would only push many tax credit recipients from part-time employment into worklessness. A necessary companion reform is the attachment of work requirements to the receipt of out-of-work benefits, following the model tested in the US state of Wisconsin. Under this ‘workfare’ system, the daily life of benefit recipients is not that different from the daily life of their working peers, which would both remove the stigma from recipients, and encourage them to look for full-time employment in the regular labour market straight away.

Abolishing winter fuel payments and free bus passes
Special age-contingent benefits, cash and kind, should be merged into one single payment. The level of assistance payment is either sufficiently high to cover the cost of items like winter fuel, bus travel, eye tests etc, or it is not. If the former, top-up benefits for special purposes are unnecessary; if the latter, the most obvious solution is to raise the level of the assistance payment itself. In neither case is there a convincing rationale for adding layer upon layer of additional transfers

Freeing labour and housing markets
Welfare reform would be much more effective if accompanied by a liberalisation of the labour market and the land-use planning system. This would enable an increase in the demand for labour, and make housing easily affordable at every point of the income distribution.”

My thanks to Jess for digging this information out. She says of the last link, ‘Health Warning; Also an extremely right wing site.’

I’ve no doubt that the IEA are trying to influence all political parties, including Labour. Nevertheless, it doesn’t alter the fact that they are an extreme Right-wing organisation with policies that will hurt the working class.