Coffee House

Why the Tories aren’t worried about the benefit wars

20 December 2012

3:00 PM

20 December 2012

3:00 PM

The government has just published the Welfare Benefits Up-rating Bill, and everyone’s pointing to polls which underline their own point about whether limiting the rise in benefits payments to 1 per cent is going to play well with voters.

Labour types are brandishing the Independent/ComRes poll, which says ‘a surprising high 43 per cent disagree’ that the government is right to cap the rise at 1 per cent. What they aren’t mentioning, of course, is that 49 per cent think the government is right: so hardly a resounding rejection of the policy.


On the right, there’s a Populus poll for the Conservative party which tests Labour’s argument that support for the Bill drains away when voters hear it includes in-work benefits. Respondents were asked to agree or disagree with a series of statements. The first was ‘Benefits have been rising twice as far as wages since the crisis began, so it’s fair to cap in-work and out-of-work benefit rises at 1 per cent for a temporary period’. Overall, 62 per cent agreed with this statement which explicitly mentions in-work payments, while 25 per cent disagreed. Of those who agreed, 27 per cent strongly agreed, and 35 per cent said they ‘somewhat agree’ with the statement.

Even if you break it down, as Labour has, by social group, support for the cap stays strong. Labour is convinced that this legislation will lead to C1 and C2 voters deserting the Tories in 2015, but 64 per cent of C1s and 65 per cent of C2s agree that this is a fair measure. It’s worth reading Jonathan’s analysis of Labour’s confidence about the Uprating Bill, too.

The Tories are also heartened by the support the poll demonstrated for raising the personal tax allowance and freezing fuel duty, with 81 per cent of respondents saying that was ‘the best way to help people on low incomes’. When asked whether the best way to help people on low incomes was to redistribute money through tax credits, only 19 per cent agreed. The Prime Minister has already made use of this argument at Prime Minister’s Questions several times, and that will certainly continue at future debates.

Although yesterday’s PMQs was dramatic, I understand those in Number 10 are pretty relaxed about the argument that Labour is trying to make. It might win points on the floor of the House of Commons, but the Tories don’t believe it is an effective long-term game to paint a picture of a Dickensian Britain as it will make life much harder for Labour in 2015 when it has to accept that it will need to make cuts of its own which – as all cuts policies do – would mean certain groups lose out. Conservative MPs at the 1922 committee last night were discussing how they could always ‘answer with statistics’ when Labour goes on a similar attack in the future. But they were largely pleased with the way Cameron conducted himself.

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Show comments
  • Monkey_Bach

    No one has seen the effect of the caps or cuts yet. Once they do the tide will turn. People supported reductions in welfare by forcing people into jobs, not making them homeless or starving if there are no jobs for them in the economy or because employers are refusing to employ them. In fourteen month the Work Programme only managed to get 2 – 3% of its participants into 6 months work. People will soon see, from April 2013 onwards, just how pernicious and cruel the caps and cuts to the poor really are and witch hunting benefit claimants will be a busted flush as far as the Tories are concerned. What will be left for them then to do then once bullying and impoverishing the helpless and the needy goes out of vogue? A long time in the political wilderness I suspect; only their core voters (25 – 30% of the electorate) support them now. Politically promiscuous floating voters who gave them a chance in 2010 based on Cameron’s compassionate Conservatism stchick abandoned the Tories long ago and now that the boundary changes have been cancelled… well… you don’t need to be Mystic Meg to see what the future is likely to be.

  • Paul J

    George came up with a superficially clever tactic that will prove itself strategically poor. Again.
    He thought he’s found the perfect wedge issue, Karl Rove style, that would force his opponents into a hobsons choice of alienating their core support, or pissing of the centre ground. No-one likes a dole blodger, after all, but he missed something about the popular political scene.

    There’s been a shift in the popularity of welfare cuts, as people realise it isn’t all about Somalis living in 8 bedroom houses, it’s people like THEM, or their hardworking and struggling friends and neighbours. That will only increase.

    This looked very smart, but it will actually re-inforce the nasty party label. It’s very hard to see where the votes the tories need to win on ’15 are going to come from. Not from UKIP, and not from labour. (29% last time).

  • andagain

    I cant help but think of Dan Hodges:

    ” I also pointed out was that given Labour’s current policy is to freeze public sector wage increases at 1 per cent, but raise benefits in line with inflation, it’s legitimate to say Labour is favouring those out of work over those who are in work. It’s just a fact. Labour is saying public sector wages should be held down, but welfare payments shouldn’t.”

    What reason can Labour give for increasing benefits faster than wages? They are going to have to think of something pretty good.

    • Monkey_Bach

      This is nonsense. Margaret Thatcher decoupled benefit increases from wage increases 32 years ago, when wages were increasing much faster than inflation. I don’t remember anybody saying “Why aren’t benefits being increased in line with wages?” or “Shouldn’t benefits be increased above inflation to maintain parity with wage rises?” when this was happening. Besides a 1% increase in the maximum rate of Jobseeker’s Allowance is THREE TIMES LESS than a similar increase as per a full-time (35 hour week) minimum wage job: making flat percentage based comparisons between benefits and wages in this way is cretinous as anybody with a GCSE in mathematics will tell you. I can hardly believe that anybody really is THAT stupid to fall for Osborne’s absurdity.

      • andagain

        I don’t remember anybody saying “Why aren’t benefits being increased in line with wages?” or “Shouldn’t benefits be increased above inflation to maintain parity with wage rises?” when this was happening.

        So people were happy with benefits increasing at less than the rate of wages? Then I would expect them to be just as happy with that today. Especially when people are starting to point out that benefts have being going up faster than wages for the last five years:

        • Monkey_Bach


          Iain Duncan Smith used percentages to support his claim, saying jobless benefits have risen by 20 per cent in the last five years, compared with an average 12 per cent rise in private sector pay: this goon is trying to sell the lie that the jobless are making more money than working people, and those figures are probably enough to fool the unwary television news viewer or radio listener.

          Let me write this in capitals: IAIN DUNCAN SMITH IS LYING!

          For example, according to financial journalist Paul Lewis on Twitter, this means unemployment benefits have risen by just £11.85 per week, while average private sector pay has risen by £49 a week. IDS is living in a world of his own. IDS is arguing for a cap of one per cent on benefit rises, for the next three years, effectively removing six per cent of jobseekers’ income by the end of that period. In effect, the Secretary of State for what used to be called Social Security is saying: “The poorest in the UK aren’t poor enough for my liking. Let’s show them how powerful we are by grinding them into the dirt!”

          For thirty two years benefits represented the minimum amount that society has decided that individuals need in order to survive adequately based on the cost of living, which is why Margaret Thatcher pegged yearly benefit uprating to the retail price index. Osborne has already reduced this uprating by 1% or so by pegging increases to CPI (rather than RPI) and now, because his economic policies have abjectly failed, is looking for more cuts in the social security budget in order to bail out his foundering deficit reduction programme and save face – hence this latest nonsense where benefit increases (percentage wise) are compared to wage increase (percentage wise) in order to justify impoverishing the poorest of the poor while not appearing to be to villainous.

          You appear to have been sucked in completely by his dissembling.

          Hopefully the rest of the population is more numerate.

  • Kevin El Poeta

    Okay. So we’re pinching benefits cos we haven’t got enough money as a country. Who can afford to donate more money..?

  • Mike Fowler

    The squawking parrots are at it again, blame labour, blame labour, blame anybody but the one who shot British industry in the head, the one who squandered north sea revenue, the one who lost the country billions to fight the miners, the one who was hated all across Europe, the one who brought in Poll Tax the one who was kicked out by her own party because she had single handedly destroyed our economy which has never recovered from that time.
    I lived through the lot so before you try to blame any of the left wing get your facts right. The list of costly muck-ups is endless so take your blinkers off and start learning.

    • Andrew Battersby

      Yes it’s amazing what short memories people have

      • Mike Fowler

        Those were the days, two pints of cider 2s/6d four penorth of chips, 20Embassy 2s/6d, kissing girls under the train-bridge. Those were the days.

  • Dusty

    A 1% freeze on my DLA sounds fair untill you see the whole picture. I have worked full time for 45 yrs and paid my tax and NI. I have been unable to work for the past 2 yrs due to ill health. I was recieving £350 pm contribution based ESA which the government stopped paying in April 2012 to save money. The end result is i have lost £350 pm ESA but will gain £4.55 increase pm in my DLA. This means i am still £345.45 pm worse off every month. The truth is i am no better off than somebody that has never worked a day in there life.

    • modeluprightcitizen

      Unfortunately a lot of people, even some of them commenting on here, assume that everyone on benefits is an idle scrounger. Your own personal experience reveals that that’s not necessarily the case.

      • barbie

        The Tories are brainwashing people into beliving demonising the unemployed will work, well when the circumstaces begin to surface of people’s plights they will regret this big time. People can’t always know what life will throw at them and the situation they will find themselves in, persecution from their own government is not what they want or need. Work should be done if its there to done, but if jobs are not there what can people do?

        • modeluprightcitizen

          I agree with you entirely. What the Tories and their Daily Mail cronies are doing is utterly disgraceful. It’s the old tactic of divide and rule. Sadly, some of the commentators on here clearly agree with them. It seems that the comments on the Spectator pages nowadays are at a similar level of intelligence to those on the Daily Mail, the Sun and the Daily Express.

    • michaelkav

      I agree this is MENTAL that you work and pay for sooooooooooooo long and are treated like some kind of work shy junkie. We need to be VERY careful here of tarring all with the same brush – very bloody careful! The benefits system is a mess. We are hurting, and maligning, “genuine” ill/disabled people here in the frenzy of baby with the bath water tory policies. This EVERYONE on benefits is a scum bag attitude and can be left to starve must end, it serves no good it just turns us against each other. I wish you get well soon!

  • tom


  • Excel

    yes is fudge time of the year again. have a go at the less well off by capping the rise in benefit for those on benefit while the rich get away with it again. What this government should be talking about is Job, not all people want to be on benefits they want a job. But as much as you try there isn’t many around at the moment this country is stagnating and all this government want to do is talk about other things that is happening in other Countries but won’t face up to the challenge of creating more work for the people of this country.

    • dorothy wilson

      There are jobs around but, unfortunately, most of them are going to people from Eastern Europe. If Labour had not allowed so many immigrants into the country and if they had not dumbed down our education standards it might be a different story.

      • Brenda Letterman

        Hahaha, And the Pakistanis the Indians, the Russians don’t call your attention how funny, they are far more Illegal Indians and Arabs than legal Poles, why the discrimination?

        • Cyclops

          Labour indocrination runneth deep. It will take years of therapy to deprogram such a feeble and fragile intellect……

    • Cyclops

      I have never had any difficulty finding a job. And I’ve had loads. This experience tells me that you would find a reason to bleat even if we had 99% employment in this country…….

      • modeluprightcitizen

        “I have never had any difficulty finding a job. And I’ve had loads” – But not very good at keeping them presumably?

        • Cyclops

          Not an intelligent remark. Somebody who found it hard to hang onto a job would scarcely find it easy to obtain a new one.

          By the way, I did a search on Google for you. Apparently, an organisation called Learn Direct may be able to help you with your literacy problems. Sadly, this service is unlikely to be able to remove the stick that is so firmly lodged up your rectum.

          • modeluprightcitizen

            Do you have fantasies about things stuck up mens’ backsides often? Maybe it’s a Tory thing or an obsession you developed at public school?

  • modeluprightcitizen

    Once people realise that they’re in the group whose benefit increases are capped at 1% (ie: all those who don’t realise yet that it includes child tax credits) they’ll soon change their minds. David ‘Ebenezer’ Cameron and the Scrooge party won’t be quite so pleased with themselves then.

    And the Populous poll for the Conservatives is about as credible as this article.

    • Mombasa69

      Labour can re-gain power and finish the UK off for good, wonderful.

      • modeluprightcitizen

        I was commenting about the article. Why don’t you?

        • Mombasa69

          I did reply to the article, I supplied the reason above why we’re in the mess that we are in now.

          We wouldn’t be in this mess if we didn’t have so much debt, and people wouldn’t be so reliant on welfare.

          • modeluprightcitizen

            I refer you to my response to HooksLaw.

            • garthbanks

              It is down to greed, bankers, whingers, fraudsters, booze guzzlers, fag smokers and luxury goods buyers and those who believe that borrowing is the answer.

              • Cyclops

                Fag smokers are patriots and pay many billions more in tax than they cost.

                • modeluprightcitizen

                  Well these ‘patriots’ are probably stupid Tories and UKIP supporters. Anyone with a half a brain smokes smuggled cigs instead.

                • Cyclops

                  Yes, the Labour inbreeds are smoking counterfeit imports and can’t tell the difference.

        • HooksLaw

          Why don’t you admit labour always leave the economy in ruins for Tories to clean up?

          • modeluprightcitizen

            I don’t need to admit anything about Labour. You perhaps assume, wrongly, that I vote for them. I don’t. The Tories are in power now. The policies to be implemented are essentially their’s. The article is about the welfare issue and polling, the central assumption being that people support their welfare cap as shown by polling . I’m commenting about that, firstly, suggesting that that support might change and why, and secondly, pointing out that the second poll for the Conservative party is so obviously biased that it reveals nothing substantive. If you disagree with what I’m saying that’s fine, but tell me where my assumptions are wrong, rather than jumping to conclusions about who you think I support. I say the same to Mombasa69.

    • Rahul Kamath

      The language of the ComRes poll isn’t stated but the Populus poll language clearly shows how framing a question can get you a particular answer. If the question had been “is a 1% rise in benefits fair when the top rate of tax is cut” (basically Labours framing) you would have received the opposite outcome.

      • modeluprightcitizen

        That’s exactly what I was alluding to in my comment. Thanks for responding to my comment..

        • Rahul Kamath

          We now have competition between two framing choices. Ignoring the bogus polls will be interesting to see which one wins with the voters.

          • modeluprightcitizen

            I fully agree.Unfortunately some people don’t seem to grasp that we’re commenting about the validity of the Populous opinion poll rather than making any party political point.

            • Rahul Kamath

              I don’t think those folks come here to grasp ideas or have an educated debate 😉

            • Cyclops

              Nobody cares. Pompous windbags are universally despised.

              • modeluprightcitizen

                No they’re not. People like you are.

                • Cyclops

                  Great response. So pompous windbags are NOT despised? Go play with your sister.

      • dorothy wilson

        And if the question had also pointed out that even with the cut the top rate is 5% higher than it was for 13 years 11 months under Labour you might get a different answer again.

        If Labour are arguing that tax at 45% gives top rate payers £107,000 a year it follows that, when they levied a 40% rate, they were giving the top rate payers £214,000 a year.

        • Rahul Kamath

          That is precisely the point. You can frame these questions anyway to get the answer u desire. The polls are bogus.

        • modeluprightcitizen

          I think he’s simply pointing out that the Populous poll clearly uses questions which are likely to evoke a particular kind of response, ie; one’s that supports what the poll sponsors (in this case the Conservatives) want to hear, rather than providing a more objective response to the welfare issue itself. This is called question skewing. Just because he’s questioning the skewed nature of the Populous poll questions and the validity of opinions they evoke doesn’t necessarily mean he’s commenting about the right or wrongs of the issue itself, just questioning the validity of what they really reveal about levels of public opinion. His comment about Labour is just to show how skewed questioning can bring about different levels of support in public opinion, depending on how the questions are framed and presented. That perhaps explains the big discrepancy between levels of support for the Conservative’s welfare policy when you compare the two polls.

    • Cyclops

      It’s only fair that the idle should get a bigger pay increase than the productive, isn’t it? Are you retarded, by any chance?

      • modeluprightcitizen

        I clearly stated that I’m referring to those who receive Child Tax Credits, ie: people who are WORKERS. I’m commenting about how public opinion might change on the issue once WORKERS realise that the 1% welfare cap includes them as well as those who you call idle. By referring to Ebenezer Scrooge I was playing on the ‘Dickensian’ theme alluded to in the article, and how the Conservative party might not be so pleased with the policy if public opinion shifts when the measures come into effect. My comment about the credibility of the article refers to the fact the Populous opinion poll results lack credibility because the questions are skewed in such a way that they reveal nothing meaningful about the welfare issue, but the writer just accepts them without question.

        Maybe I am retarded but at least I read the articles I’m commenting on and can recognise poorly designed opinion polls when I see them. You should perhaps try reading and considering the article yourself, although your response to my comment reveals that you obviously struggle to read, aren’t very good at comprehension, and feel the need to revert to personal abuse rather than responding specifically to the points made.

        • Cyclops

          “aren’t very good at comprehension, and
          feel the need to revert to personal abuse rather than responding specifically to the points made.”

          – You would do well to attend some Adult Literacy classes. The literate among us would have use the word ‘respond’.

          Modeluprightcitizen? What does that even MEAN? How is a ‘model, upright citizen’ any different to a ‘model citizen’? It only serves to prove that you are an empty windbag who would never use just five words if the opportunity existed to use fifty words to say the exact same thing!

          My comprehension was stymied by your pompous verbosity.

          • modeluprightcitizen

            The word ‘revert’ is pretty accurate in your case Cyclops. It means ‘to regress’, ‘to slip back’, ‘to relapse’ ‘to go back to your old ways’. After all, you do often end up throwing terms of abuse at people you disagree with. You do it quite often as well I’ve noticed, probably because you fundamentally oppose their political viewpoints, You’ve already done it several times to other people on this thread. That’s why I then responded the way I did.

            You seem a bit confused though about my use of the word ‘revert’ instead of ‘response’. You quoted only the second half of my sentence though, and perhaps failed to notice that I’d already used the word ‘response’ in the first part of the sentence that you left out. So inserting another ‘response’ as you suggest would actually render the sentence utterly meaningless. Also, the word ‘responding’ appears only a few words after ‘revert’, so another ‘response’ (as well as being incoherent in the context of the sentence as a whole) would have simply been too many uses of the same word.

            I could have written ‘resort’ instead of ‘revert’ of course, but not ‘response’ again, as I’m sure you’ll agree when you cool off and read the whole sentence again.

            As far as us the username is concerned it’s not meant to mean anything in particular, so you’re reading a bit too much into it. However, it is possible to analyse it further if you really want to. For example, you equate ‘model’ with ‘upright’, but those words are not necessarily the same in terms of meaning, even when used in conjunction with ‘citizen’. Certainly not if you think about them both separately and when ran together. But perhaps I just needed a distinct name that I could actually remember. I couldn’t use Cyclops because someone else already had it. So I just used what I did.

            Your sentence asking how “model, upright citizen” is different from “model citizen” is a little jumbled, but I guess we all make typing mistakes from time to time. You say the username only serves to prove that I always use fifty words instead of five. I’d just point out that the username modeluprightcitizen only uses three, which undermines what you say somewhat.

            Finally, I do genuinely love your last sentence, because it perfectly illustrates in its choice of words and construction the very pompous verbosity you ascribe to me. Nice one.

            I’m still interested to hear what you’ve got to say about Isabel Hardman’s article though. After all, that was what we were supposed to be discussing and it was actually the point of my original comment. I’m still awaiting your response to what I said about the (mis)assumptions inherent in her piece and how and why you disagree with me.

            • Cyclops

              You seem confused about things, in general, What has your use of the word ‘revert’ got to do with anything?

              • modeluprightcitizen

                And what has your use of the word ‘idle’ got to do with those eligible for child tax credits?

                • Cyclops

                  The comment to which I initially responded didn’t limit itself to CTC. What a dishonest little runt you are……………..

            • Cyclops

              “Finally, I do genuinely love your last sentence, because it perfectly illustrates in its choice of words and construction the very pompous verbosity you ascribe to me. Nice one.”

              – No, my delusional friend. Again, you fail to see the irony. You could not have said the same thing in fewer than five times as many words. This rather undermines your point. Sadly, succinctness is conspicuously absent from every post that you make!

              • modeluprightcitizen

                My grasp was foiled by your wordy conceit – There you are. That’s a shorter sentence using less overblown language.

                • Cyclops

                  What an imbecile. Look at the size of your reply! If your penis is so small get an extension or a strap-on dildo, for God’s sake, and stop overcompensating.

                • modeluprightcitizen

                  Well you clearly need things explaining. You don’t seem to get things the first time.

          • modeluprightcitizen

            “You would do well to attend some Adult Literacy classes. The literate among us would have use the word ‘respond'” – I guess the literate among us would have used the word ‘used’ not ‘use’. Early Learning Centre in the morning for you for an introduction to spelling book it is then.

            • Cyclops

              A missing letter here or there can pass as a ‘typo’. However, using incorrect tense participles, poor syntactic elision and a general ignorance of the correct use of the comma, marks you out as an intellectual half-wit desperately punching above his weight.

  • BenM_Kent

    The Independent/Comres poll has more credibility than the “push poll” done by populus.

    This is all feeding nicely into the re-toxification of the Tory brand.

    Coupled with the appalling mismanagement of the economy by Osborne these vindictive policies are making the Tories less and less electable as 2015 approaches.

    • Mombasa69

      Yes because Brown ran the economy so well, did so many great things…

      Housing Bubble, equity loans, encouraged people to use their house as a cash point machine.

      De-regulated the banks.

      London is one of the world’s biggest financial centers, so Brown also helped to screw the global economy too.

      Created a large wasteful public sector that’s still crippling us now.

      Made people more reliant on welfare.

      Over-regulated small businesses.

      Now were all broke and over-loaded on debt.

      Many thanks Labour.

      • Sam Burns

        Yeah cos that’s the option next general election – Gordon Brown or David Cameron. I mean what sort of an argument is that? The tories are running the economy really bad but at least they’re not Gordon Brown :S Right I’ll make sure I’ll not vote for Gordon Brown in the next election.

        Right-wing nonsense fail.

        • Border Boy

          And who was one of Gordon Brown’s First Lieutenants? Try Ed Miliband.

        • Cyclops

          Labour had thirteen years to run the country into the ground whilst the Tories have had two to fix it. Given that it is generally much easier to destroy than it is to create your logic clearly identifies you as the result of multi-generational incest.

          • Brenda Letterman

            I see Britain as the 6th Economy of the World, without the Wars would be probably first, something had to be right, where was Britain in the 70s… In the butt of the world.

            • Cyclops

              Indeed. With a Labour government crawling to the IMF with a begging bowl and dragging us into the gutter. Thank God Thatcher gave us back our self-respect. Until Scottish Labour (Blair, Brown, Reid, Cook, Fred The Shred, Darling) decimated us again………………………

            • HellforLeather

              7th in the world, according to think tank Cebr. (Follows U.S., China, Japan, Germany, France, Brazi)l.

              Was it Labour that took the UK into those wars you mention?

          • Ninth Legion

            ……errr, but it’s worse now than when Labour lot left! Divide and rule works beautifully; the left blame the right and the right blame the left. Both are correct.

            • Cyclops

              Both parties agreed before the last election that things were going to get much harder before they got better. Or were you off your meds that day? What a feeble memory so many of you have!

          • modeluprightcitizen

            Get real! Your Tory mates have screwed it up big style. All you nodding donkeys can’t admit that you all got it completely wrong. They snuffed out economic growth and caused a double-dip recession. Every Tory government we’d had, from Thatcher to Major to these jokers now have caused a recession. Oh but it’s never the Tories fault. What a bunch of jokers you are. And now we’ll get a triple-dip recession because you lot haven’t got a clue what to do to generate growth. If they stay in power the country will face economic stagnation for the next 20 years. Fortunately though you’re already finished. With a little help from UKIP the Tory right wing’ll tear the Tories apart over Europe, just like they did with Major. And then they’ll never get in power again. The world’s moved on over the last 15 years. But the Tories haven’t. You’re all still as useless as you always was.

            • Cyclops

              You wear your ignorance like a badge of pride. When the Tories take back stewardship of the economy from the Labour looters (at least three of whom have recently been jailed) it is invariably in worse condition that when they left power. You are clearly a ‘friend of Savile’.

              • modeluprightcitizen

                Typo alert.

      • ommadawn

        ‘…Brown also helped to screw the global economy too.’

        You need to read this link
        ‘A quick guide to the origins of the global financial crisis’

        Also this on Thatcher’s ‘Big Bang’ deregulation of the banks in 1986

        Much as you’d like to you can’t blame everything on Brown

      • toni

        Only idiots used property as a cash machine, look in the mirror.

        Banks were deregulated with Tory insistance and approval (proceeds of growth?)

        Public sector workers supported their families financially and paid mortgages and taxes

        Welfare – supported families, children, women, elderly and sick

        Business shishmuss, complaining daily

        You broke and debt ridden? Speak for yourself, not me.

        Now read the post at the bottom of the page by Mike Fowler. I suspect he had you in mind.

  • Russell

    Working people know what’s best for them. To keep more of their money by the use of a much higher personal tax allowance rather than take money off them in the form of Income tax and then give them back some of their money in the form of the much loved by labour allowances/benefits/credits.
    If they made the basic tax alowance to be £15,000 per year, they could cut working tax credits/child credits/housing benefit etc. encouraging more people to work for a living and not be dependent on the state.
    The ‘cap’ of £26,000 (tax and NIC free)should then be reduced to a figure which is lower than the net pay of someone who works 40 hours a week on minimum wage.

    • AnotherDaveB

      I think they should freeze/terminate the tax credits system now. It has the same policy objective as the personal allowance. Either/or, not both.

      • unbelievable

        tax credits help if your self employed.. that’s what I am however I don’t see the need for it if you’ve got a great job. as soon as I’m earning enough i’ll come off it..but really struggling to sell what I have for I continue to look for a new avenue till I make it..

      • Brenda Letterman

        I don’t understand how you talk about cut this and that with a shortage of homes about 30% and when the minimum wave doesn’t cover the minimum needs of people and has fallen more than 30% the last 7 years. You think a substantial part of our society is going to work 12 hours a day to live with their families which they can’t even see for living under a bridge. Blowing Tories, out of contact, you get paid for writing this nonsense, right?

    • Brenda Letterman

      If they don’t build a house and carry on to allow illegal immigrants and the salaries rise far from inflation, with all respect: What the Hell you are talking about?, working 60 hrs a week to pay the bills and rent?, and so what the state give me for my taxes? Wars in the Middle East?. Obviously only a paid tory can write or agree with this very selected peace of rubbish .. What about closing the loopholes and bring to justice the books chefs and tax evaders… Those Billions are not important are they?

      • Russell

        A few hours per week studying English may enhance your earning capacity.

      • HellforLeather

        “Wars in the Middle East” — launched by Labour?

  • ben corde

    The Telegraph cartoon yesterday is priceless. The Queen is shown leaving the cabinet office here with the caption ‘right I’m voting UKIP’ We are too

    • modeluprightcitizen

      I can’t seem to find it anywhere on this page?

    • barbie

      I had a good giggle at that too.