Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Do Labour understand tax credits?

Twitter is my favourite social media tool.

I can wake up in the morning and instantly read all the bits of political gossip immediately - (I choose who I follow to suit my interests and from all sides for a balanced perspective).

I ensure that when I join in, I speak my mind and my truth, Twitter is meant to be slightly controversial and I am far more devil's advocate on my political platform than I am elsewhere, such is the nature of this particular social media tool.

So for instance, I was quite happy to call David Lammy MP a fibber this morning in a tweet directly to him, because he is either fibbing or he doesn't know what tax credits are and is a bit muddled about the various benefits. Either way, it doesn't bode well for an MP but I suspect it is the former. He just wanted to seem heroic to the Left followers who are still bitter and angry that we are in power and stronger than ever.

He sent out a tweet saying his mum could not have done without this particular benefit. This touched my nerve for a couple of reasons.

1) He was 31 when it was introduced!
2) Many of us, including his mum, did without them completely as single parents and did absolutely just fine. In fact, I think its the one single factor that made me so successful in my career in the insurance industry, at the time. Promotion was the only way I was going to give myself and family a good life.

The difference between a socialist and a Tory, like me, is much greater than people suggest but we all agree that an obvious difference is on the subject of welfare. It is the Conservatives who care about the people in this country, we know the best way of making our nation great. But socialists do not have a monopoly on great moments of compassion - our (conservative) history is rich with it.

Socialists think that we are all victims, even worse, some actually like victimhood so that they can prey and feed their own sense of worth. We, however think survivor mode. They believe people are incapable of understanding concepts, policy and self-responsibility, We think the opposite.

On a much less important scale, this was evident in a licensing committee I attended this week where a labour councillor suggested that we do a training session for taxi drivers on using a really simple page online to manage their licenses, despite the officer confirming that it had been well tested. Taxi drivers are not stupid and the page was really user-friendly. In fact if you can send an e-mail, you can use this page. Furthermore, it's not compulsory so good old fashioned hard copy is well accepted and our staff are on the other end of the phone, if they do need any help.

This is why when Labour are in government everything costs so much more - they will spend thousands of pounds of our money on a tiny minority of people. They aim everything at the lowest common denominator.

I once worked with a co-operative group, in schools, on many fantastic projects. I constantly had intelligent disagreements with my lovely, mainly politically left colleagues (and they are lovely, are still my friends and are extremely capable) about how to aim the sessions - lowest capability v highest capability in the room. Until one day a teacher agreed with me that aiming at the highest capability shows the group the standard that is expected from them and motivates everyone in the room. Aiming for the lowest just bores pupils and becomes counter-productive. In the end little is learnt or remembered.

My position in politics is the one I adopt in business and I know for a fact that the best scenario is to be supportive and hand-hold temporarily, to empower, not create victim hood and lack of self belief.

Anyway I have digressed a little - the truth of this issue is that it doesn't matter how well intentioned, our over-generous welfare benefits were, we are now going to be far more realistic and empowering.

Watch this space and we will see the proof in the pudding. Further work is needed and universal credit will be a fantastic culmination of some clever thinking and some sense of perspective.

Poverty is about money to the left.

Poverty for me is about lack of tenacity, lack of self responsibility, lack of motivation, lack of a sense of achievement and more important a lack of choices. No-one ever got rich on legally entitled benefits either.

THAT's really poor - I've been in both situations, and money has never determined my happiness, ever.

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