Wednesday, August 10, 2011

National to run on social division

The UK is currently in flames on a fourth night of rioting caused by inequality, exclusion, and social division. Meanwhile, back home, the government has announced that it will run on formenting those very problems, promising a further crackdown on welfare:

The Government is considering toughening up on welfare fraud.

Social Development Minister Paula Bennett said this morning she was "rapt" at savings made by policy changes forcing people to re-apply for the dole every 12 months.


Bennett said the Government was looking at the policy of re-application again, but not all of those 7400 were claiming benefits fraudulently.

"At the moment we are sticking with the 12 months, but I think it's worth looking at it further."

She added: "we are certainly looking at fraud, how we make sure those people that are on a benefit should be there.

The (not very-) subtext: "all beneficiaries are fraudsters, and we're going to do something about it". The economy's in the can, times are hard, they've got no plan to make things better, so they're going to focus on othering those in need and scapegoating the victims, whipping up the very social divisions which are currently seeing cities burn overseas. It's disgusting politics, made all the more so by the fact that Bennett used to be one of those victims. She used state help (the DPB and training incentive allowance) to get her life back together, and now she's trying to deny others those same opportunities. Its grossly hypocritical – but so very, very National, neh?