Socialist Worker

No to Tory scapegoating of benefit claimants

Issue No. 2441

The Tories are attacking people on benefits in a vicious campaign to grab votes. Their “welfare week” involved scapegoating one group after another.

David Cameron pledged last Saturday to cut benefits for obese people, and addicts who “refuse” to change their lifestyle.

Then on Tuesday he said young people on benefits would have to do daily community work as well as looking for work. 

The Tories had earlier trailed that they wanted to “get rid of that well-worn path from the school gate, down to the job centre, and on to a life on benefits”.

But the vast majority of benefit claims are for short periods—less than half of Jobseeker’s Allowance claims are for more than 13 weeks.  And less than 10 percent are for more than a year.

But facts don’t matter to the Tories. Their vindictive messages are meant to divide us and distract from the people who really rip us off. Cameron’s real message is, “Don’t blame the chief executive evading millions in taxes. Turn your hatred on the person next door who claims benefits.”

Labour should savage such moves. Instead its leaders accept most of what the Tories say about benefits and come up with their own plan to force people into low paid work.

That’s why we need the greatest possible unity against the Tory attacks. And it’s also why we support the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition at the election. 

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What We Think
Tue 17 Feb 2015, 15:56 GMT
Issue No. 2441
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