“UKIP supports a simplified, streamlined welfare system and a benefit cap.”
ukip says, “More detailed announcements will be made in the run up to the 2015 General Election.”
Will those detailed announcements clarify if these policy ideas are no longer under serious consideration?
“Roll the mass of existing benefits into simpler categories, while ensuring every UK citizen receives a simple, non-means tested ‘Basic Cash Benefit’ (BCB)
Roll key benefits – such as Jobseeker’s Allowance, Incapacity Benefit and Student Maintenance Grant – into a single, flat-rate BCB set at the same weekly rate as Jobseeker’s Allowance or Income Support. For students, the BCB will be termed ‘Student Vouchers’ or ‘Training Vouchers’
Allow part-time and temporary workers to continue claiming BCB until their wages reach UKIP’s proposed £11,500 personal allowance so they can take jobs without being heavily penalised by the system
Merge Child Benefit, the Child Trust Fund, Child Tax Credits and the Education Maintenance Allowance into an enhanced Child Benefit, payable for each of the first three children in a family (as of October 2014 now only the first two children in a family)
Merge Early Years’ Funding, Sure Start, the childcare element of Working Tax Credit and the tax relief on Employer Nursery Vouchers into a flat-rate, non-means tested ‘Nursery Voucher’ to cover approximately half the cost of a full-time nursery place.”
From Welfare to Workfare
A Welfare Policy for an Independent Britain
A Policy Statement
Up until now ukip has kept under tight wraps any suggestion that these policy ideas are, at least, not still under serious consideration. A policy to oppose (not repeal) the Bedroom Tax and some vague assertions do not a comprehensive Social Security policy make. In addition, the simplistic Income Tax cut for people on the National Minimum Wage (earning more than their current Income Tax Allowance), that ukip thinks will benefit all those in that position, is a clear sign that ukip has next to no understanding about how our tax and Social Security systems interact, often to the disadvantage of those in work on low incomes. Often, people in work have to claim Social Security to even receive the same level of income as they would if they were not in work.
ukip’s enthusiasm for non means tested payments would mean more higher income taxpayers having a much bigger share of the Social Security budget than now and some of those on lower incomes receiving a great deal less than they currently do, both directly and indirectly. Even David Cameron would be eligible to receive a BCB.
I take it no one in ukip has heard of ESA? That its recipients are split into two groups and that, under these proposals, those entering the Support Group in the future would be receiving less money than those in the group now. I am assuming that they would not apply their proposed changes retrospectively.
ukip needs to learn that a policy to oppose (not repeal) the Bedroom Tax will be perceived as no more than a cynical ploy to garner votes unless ukip comes up with more detailed Social Security policy than in is contained in its Doncaster statements. In addition, am I right to think that this statement is a bit ambiguous:
“UKIP opposes the bedroom tax because it operates unfairly, penalising those who are unable to find alternative accommodation and taking insufficient account of the needs of families and the disabled.”
and that, if the tax were operated fairly (in ukip’s opinion) then ukip’s opposition to the tax would turn into support?
I mean why not just say ukip would repeal the Bedroom Tax (full stop)?
Oh (and before I forget) I hope ukip now understands the widespread opposition to Workfare, that 50% of people in receipt of Housing Benefit are in work, that most of the other claimants are pensioners and people on ESA and that the money for Council Tax Benefit is only ring-fenced for pensioners.
“Require those on benefits – starting with Housing and Council Tax Benefit recipients in private rented homes – to take part in council-run local community projects called ‘Workfare’ schemes. The schemes will be in addition to council jobs”
One might almost think that ukip’s Social Security ‘experts’ are not as expert as they think and have possibly never had recourse to claim Social Security. If they want to design a new system to help people to move from Social Security into paid work, may I suggest they Google Benefit Trap? It is obvious they and their supporters have not heard of the trap, given their touching faith in the idea that cutting the Income Tax paid by those on the National Minimum Wage will make all of those currently paying Income Tax no worse off than they are now, if not better.
I have news for ukip, not even Iain Duncan Smith would touch your Social Security ideas with a barge pole and that really is saying something!