Just came across this comment under this article by a commenter called “Jack Jazz”. Don’t know who they are, but thought he nailed it with his (?) comment on the real motivations for welfare changes, so thought I’d share it here. I have a slight quibble with the assertion that the rich pay for services for the poor through their taxes, but it’s true the rich want lower taxes, and these are more achievable if the government spends less. Anyway, here’s the comment:
“The ignorance that lies at the core of Tory welfare policy reform is not an ignorance of unawareness, or an absence of knowledge, but rather one of calculated disinformation. Probably the most disgusting thing about this coalition is the deliberate spreading of lies to facilitate a systematic assault upon the sick, the poor and the disabled. They have lied to and misled the public in order to promote a squalid agenda, an agenda to dismantle the welfare state.
For those who wish to destroy the welfare state, the first move is to create ‘the undeserving poor’. By constant repetition, they construct a cultural underclass via the media, with the tabloid press, much of it owned by multi-millionaires, at the forefront. Each day they fill their pages with accounts of people “living on hand-outs,” living in ‘mansions’, ‘daring to have children’, ‘laying around doing nothing’, all the while emphasising that it’s your taxes letting these scroungers live in ‘luxury.’ By this drip drip feeding, the words ‘welfare’ and ‘scrounger’ become intertwined.
The next phase is to question the idea of a universal welfare state itself. As the welfare state is dismantled, as more and more, due to ever greater reductions in funding, the quality of these services deteriorates, the middle classes begin to ask why they are paying into a system that gives them so little back. This gradual exclusion of the middle classes from the welfare state leads to the middle classes being persuaded to seek private options to deal with old age, pensions and health care, urged on by a government that tells them that it is the only solution. And of course, as private provision takes over, the cycle of dismantling can continue. Public services now become a service solely for the poor, as the middle class abandon the system.
Why dismantle the welfare state? Who benefits from this progressive degradation of the welfare state? Obviously not the lower classes. But nor do the middle classes, as the new private systems are more expensive, often of poorer quality, and invariably far more complicated than what existed previously.
No, the real reason behind the cuts is simple.
The real beneficiaries are the very rich, who no longer have to pay for services they never used anyway.
And all the cuts are ideologically driven. None of it is to save money. The welfare reform bill won’t save a penny, because the costs will just be passed onto somewhere else. It’s all about crushing the welfare state. The Tories have for years hated the fact that ‘their’ taxes should be used to help the sick and the poor. Based upon no evidence whatsoever, they truly believe there is a vast horde of scroungers out there who are living a life of luxury on benefits. The most shameful thing about the Tories, though, is that to promote this idea, they peddle downright lies as truth and feed it to the masses, who regurgitate this bullshit ad infinitum, no doubt much of which has been posted on forums like this by people like you!”