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Overhaul the benefits system to encourage people to take responsibility

Comment 6th July 2010

The Benefits system was designed to assist those who need help, not provide an excuse for people not to work.  So how about adopting a system where:

  • if you get pregnant and have a child while on benefits, you are not entitled to any additional allowance for that child.  The state should not be expected to pick up the tab because you choose to procreate without the means to support that child.  However, if you have children and then go onto benefits, you should still be supported until you find work.
  • abolish job-seekers allowance after 6 months.  Instead, retrain people from day one to do a job that is available, perhaps by offering employers subsidies to take on more trainees, and make sure that the age limit is irrelevant, meaning people who become unemployed still have an opportunity to get back into work.
  • make Doctors certificates mandatory for everyone who receives incapacity benefit or ESA, where the Doctor can identify the types of work that the individual can do.  This should be reviewed at least every six months.  If you are that ill that you cannot possibly work, then chances are you are seeing the Doctor regularly anyway.
  • increase support for carers, not just financially, but also in the other services that they should be getting i.e. respite care.  This can be paid for by following some of the steps above!
  • Increase pension support for the elderly, and not take into account their savings and properties.  They have worked hard for those and shouldn't be penalised for it.

Why does this matter?

People need to take back responsibility for their lives, and stop relying on the state and others to maintain them.  We need to re-address why the benefits system was established in the first place, and recapture those values, and enforce them.

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