Tag Archives: Welfare

We’re all immigration officers now

Panicked by the rise of anti-immigration Britain, the government is readying its defences against those bothersome Bulgarians and roving Romanians, judging by the Queen’s Speech today.

It’s no coincidence that an immigration bill is on the agenda in the same year that those two countries gain full membership of the EU (allowing them to come and live work more freely in the UK). Its content, interestingly, looks almost like it’s designed to turn the indigenous population into informants. Maybe that’s a bit extreme… but perhaps you’re the best judge of that. Here are the main points:

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Labour’s love’s lost

If the British Labour party had a foot, it would have shot it on welfare reform. The Financial Times’s Janan Ganesh very eloquently points out that the Labour party leader, Ed Milliband, has made a grievous strategic decision by staunchly opposing the coalition government’s welfare cuts but not coming up with a decent alternative.

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Welfare: I double-dare you

Oops. Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith really set himself up on Radio 4’s Today programme yesterday.

John Humphrys (interviewer): Could you survive on £53 a week?

IDC: Well….if I had to I would.

I repeat: oops. Judging by the public reaction to IDC’s comment, one might have thought he yelled “bring it on!” while pumping the air in defiance. A petition on change.org for IDC to prove he could live on that amount had received 184,554 digital signatures when I started writing this and 208,988 by the time I finished (about an hour). All this is particularly poignant when your party says stuff like “we’re all in this together

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Welfare cuts draw blood

It strikes me that April Fool’s Day is an oddly appropriate choice to usher in some of the biggest spending cuts to Britain’s welfare state since its inception. But for all the anti-austerity protests of recent years, these cuts seem surprisingly popular. 

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