Ken Loach’s fictional Daniel Blake was claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance. In the real world, JSA has been frozen since April 2015. On Planet Corbyn, Daniel no longer exists.
On the Friday before the August Bank Holiday 2017, Labour sneaked out a press release in the name of Jeremy Corbyn, stating that Labour would not end the benefits freeze on taking up office.
JSA for a Daniel Blake has been frozen at £73.10 per week since April 2015
Income Support for lone parent Daniella Blake has been frozen at £73.10 per week since April 2015
Employment and Support Allowance for a Daniel Blake has been frozen at £73.10 per week since April 2015.
Labour will, however, enact free university tuition for mostly white, mostly middle and upper class youth on its first day in office.
Labour will make Daniel Blake, a real victim of austerity, foot the bill for free university tuition.
People on JSA, IS and ESA all have children as dependants.
Child poverty has been rising under the Tories and it would continue to rise under a Corbyn led Labour Government, not incidentally or accidentally, but as a deliberate policy choice.
Labour, under Blair and Brown, pledged to eradicate child poverty by 2020.
Labour, under Corbyn, in 2017 pledges to enact free university tuition and let child poverty rise during his premiership.
The Tories were nasty, vile people for making those without a voice suffer through having their benefits frozen.
What then is Corbyn, who made so much out of the plight of Daniel Blake at PMQs, but who has now said, in an under hand, cowardly way that he would not end the benefits freeze on his first day as Prime Minister?
Does his decision make Corbyn a sanctimonious onanist?
What does it say about Ken Loach that he has not spoken truth unto Corbyn over his plan to extend the freeze of Daniel Blake’s JSA?
A purveyor of poverty porn to Islington Socialists?
Whilst not committing Labour to end the benefits freeze, Corbyn has pledged Labour, without caveat, to maintain the (State) Pension Triple Lock.
Whilst the JSA of Daniel Blake, jobseeker, has not increased by a penny since April 2015, the State Pension of Charlie Blake, pensioner, has increased by 2.5% each year in the same period.
Daniel Blake’s JSA has not risen, even in line within inflation, since April 2015. His JSA would remain frozen indefinitely under a Corbyn led Labour Government.
Charlie’s State Pension has risen by 2.5% per year and if inflation increases by more than 2.5% then Charlie’s pension goes up by more than 2.5% per year.
Inflation has been rising for over 18 months now:
Inflation measured using the Consumer Prices Index reached 2.7% in August 2017.
Were benefits rising in line with inflation then they would be increasing each year in April, using the previous September’s CPI figure.
Daniel Blake cannot wait to claim his State Pension, because the real value of his weekly JSA payment is falling with every passing day.
No one has yet said at what date Corbyn expects sufficient savings to have been made to end the freeze.
No one has yet said what Labour lifting the freeze would actually mean for a Daniel Blake.
Would Blake’s JSA begin to rise in line with inflation from the lifting of the freeze?
Or would he, instead, receive a backdated increase, taking into effect inflation since April 2015?
Does Corbyn hope to find the savings to end the benefits freeze before April 2019?
April 2019 is the date when the Tories currently plan to end their benefits freeze.
I know there are Corbyn supporters out there who think we should focus on helping people off welfare into work, but we, Labour under Blair and Brown, managed that between 1997 and 2010 without freezing people’s benefits.
I know there are Corbyn supporters out there who think the benefits freeze is disagreeable, that we cannot help everyone and that free university tuition is a priority.
I know there are Corbyn supporters out there who think that benefits are not earned in the first place by recipients and are the state’s generosity.
In all my Civil Service career and in my over thirty year membership of the Labour Party, I have never heard anyone, even people not sharing my politics, call JSA, IS or ESA generous, unless they were a dyed in the blue wool Tory.
There are a lot of Tories or neo-Tories or people who think selfishness is socialism numbered amongst Corbyn’s supporters.
Their common link?
Free university tuition for them and theirs.
In the 1980s, under Thatcher, Greed was Good.
In the 2010s, under Corbyn, Selfishness is Socialism.
Most of Corbyn’s fans have never claimed benefit, expect to claim benefit, know anyone who has claimed benefit, know anyone who is claiming benefit and/or worked with people in receipt of benefit.
Does this explain their callousness, their lack of empathy?
It certainly suggests that saying they had seen I, Daniel Blake was more of a chance to virtue signal than it was anything else.
And have those ardent Corbyn fans forgotten, if they ever knew that Iain Duncan Smith, yes, Iain Duncan Smith resigned over the benefits freeze?
If Corbyn’s youthful supporters were truly selfless idealists then surely they would be campaigning against the benefits freeze and not for free university tuition?
Surely Corbyn’s youthful, and not so youthful, acolytes, should be saying they do not want free university tuition at the expense of the working age poor?
Surely Corbyn’s progressive fans should be demanding that their idol find another way to fund free university tuition?
Surely Corbyn’s fans should be saying, to prove their ideological purity, that they would rather do without free university tuition, if it may only be funded through the increasing suffering of children living into poverty?
Surely Corbyn’s followers should be asking themselves, as much as Corbyn, if there is much to connect maintaining the benefits freeze to fund free university tuition with, well, Socialism?
Corbyn will maintain the benefits freeze, for which Jacob Rees-Mogg voted and over which IDS resigned, in order to find the money to fund free university tuition.
Corbyn will maintain the benefits freeze in order to find the money to fund free university tuition so as to honour a pledge, yes, another Corbyn pledge, not to raise Income Tax and National Insurance on the income of anyone whose earnings are less than £80,000 per annum.
Corbyn has pledged that his Income Tax and National Insurance freeze, for the 95% whose incomes are less than £80,000 per annum, will last at least five years.
I leave the last word to Benjamin Disraeli.
Labour is definitely not the PARTY OF THE POOR any more.