On welfare, Iain Duncan Smith is the heir to Gordon Brown

Iain Duncan Smith’s benefit reforms mark the final nail in the coffin for William Beveridge's contributory principle

Are the Government’s welfare reforms quite as radical as claimed, or are they just another case of ineffective tinkering at the edges, resulting only in a slightly meaner version of what went before?

timmy2much: Welfare is not the big problem - the left and their media cabal are the big problem. Every time someone even goes near welfare to reform it they are up in arms.  IDS has shook out roughly 2 million people from the disability benefits tree - that is outstanding news - yet all we hear in the media is about a bedroom tax that really doesn't even exist in the way they portray it.  Get rid of the left and welfare can be organised in a way that is fair to those who pay for it and those that need it temporarily and not towards those who just take take take.

dharush: In what way does the bedroom tax not exist?

Frank Fisher: It's not  a tax dummy.

IH8LIBLABCON: In a way it is a tax, as some people genuinely cant move as there isnt places with less bedrooms Id much rather see BTL landlords getting taxed on all their income and not getting tax breaks. It does seem that more often then not they go for the little people and never try going after the parasites in London councils handing out 200 million amongst themselves. Or the unaffordable public sector wages and pensions… or the growing numbers in Lords, or halving the number of MPs we have etc etc… Or reversing immigration, blocking all but highly skilled immigrants, stopping housing benefit for non natives.

WillyTheFish: Frank Fisher: And the 'Community Charge' wasn't really a Poll Tax. (And that went awfully well, didn't it?)

OfficerDibble:   No, the Community Charge was a tax, and arguably a poll tax.  By calling the reduction in benefits for spare bedrooms a tax, Labour are presumably trying to emulate their success in whipping up opposition to the poll tax - but every time they mention the "bedroom tax" they're just reminding voters of their own economic illiteracy.  It's entirely reasonable to argue that it's unfair or mean or counter-productive or badly thought through, but pretending it's a tax is just plain dumb.

WillyTheFish: OfficerDibble: The point that I was making was that the (emotive but accurate) naming of the Community Charge as a Poll Tax was a very effective opposition tactic. You are probably correct that Labour are using the term 'Bedroom Tax' for their own ends.  The Labour Party was formed by the British Working Class to represent their interests. The multimillionaire first generation Marxist immigrant who currently leads it probably wouldn't recognise a working class person if he saw one, let alone recognise a day's work which is utterly alien to his life experience. I don't think anyone is pretending that this is really a tax, merely that the injustice involved means that it is tantamount to a tax; a poll tax which will disproportionately penalise poor white people.

englishpatriot:  It is not a tax, but a benefit reduction - something else entirely.

WillyTheFish: englishpatriot: Makes very little difference what you call it. The number of suitable properties to 'downsize' to is insufficient to accommodate all those affected. Consequently, social tenants who are caught by this tax / benefit reduction will have their already low incomes reduced below the poverty line. Anyone choosing between eating, buying shoes for the children or paying the rent is unlikely to be particularly concerned whether is is called a 'tax' or a 'benefit reduction'. Meanwhile IDS can brag about being able to live on £53 a week - let's see him try.

timmy2much: its not a tax - its people paying for space they dont need - just like when you rent a house that has 3 bedrooms you pay more! These people are on benefits if they want additional living space then they can pay like the rest of us

WillyTheFish:  timmy2much: 'These people are on benefits…' One can practically see the curl on your sneering lip. They are still humans - or doesn't that matter to you? So what happens when poor people (who don't matter of course) fail to find suitable accommodation to 'downsize'?- there's not enough smaller accommodation available in the social housing sector. They can either attempt to live on an impossibly small income or 'downsize' to private accommodation from some buy-to-let parasite where the total rent costs to the taxpayer will be higher because of the higher rent levels in the private sector. Housing Benefit in the private rented sector goes straight to parasitic landlords. And what happens when a small family (typically white British) are booted out of social housing to be preyed on by buy-to-let sharks and replaced in their social housing by third world immigrants who (typically) have large families? The UK urgently needs effective immigration controls, rent controls, and an end to the tax payer funded gravy train of buy-to-let.

slic59: Could I rent the space between your ears? They did not decide on what space they got; it was allocated; wrongly perhaps but it was that or the street. what would you have done with no money kids in tow? Have more kids and fill up the space; get more child benefit?

1oo1:  "These people are on benefits if they want additional living space then they can pay like the rest of us" The largest group of under occupiers of "social housing" are pensioners. The bedroom tax does not apply to them. In which way should they "pay like the rest of us"?

timmy2much: couple of ways of looking at this; 1 - they are pensioners therefore not on benefits as such, but it is social housing, therefore NOT their property to decide what to do with - downsizing them and grouping them together could be beneficial for all with better care facilities being provided. 2 - run in period, after a few years those going in to pensionhood would have automatically been downsized prior to this, assuming any kids having already left the house. If they havent then they should expect to be downsized as and when they do.

slic59: Point one the Nazi's did that Point two;does Care in the Community ring a bell? they were all grouped together but now…

biggal: Suppose they don't want the additional living space, and are desperate to downsize as soon as a smaller place becomes available?

adnos: How can we not consider pensioners as being on benefits when over half the welfare budget is indeed spent on pensions and pension-related benefits? How is it not welfare when the majority of money lost through benefit fraud is in the realm of pensions and pensioner-age benefits? Yes, they payed into the system, but so did the majority of people with physical or mental illnesses whose problems manifested later in life. It is good that IDS is getting rid of the fakers, but in my eyes I see no difference between someone of pensionable age and someone who became disabled or ill through no fault of their own, who previously paid into the system. Many of these people could work, yes, but the employment market needs to adapt to those who could work but need extra help, be it working on their own time or working from home. If the coalition really was serious about getting disabled people, who do have a lot to contribute, into work they could do better than closing Remploy factories and expecting the sick and disabled to compete with the able-bodied for jobs.

ancientpopeye: You have a point, but a very blinkered viewpoint. Pensions are not a benefit, in the meaning of this debate. I worked for 50 years and paid for a pension, as a tax on my income. If I had not been forced to pay this tax, I could have provided a better pension with that money privately. Got it? I liken IDS to the good Lord, with taking up their beds and walking, right to a medical for disability payments. Lo and behold 900,000 or so were miraculously cured. Regarding who has paid or not, I object to people who have never worked in their lives, living high on the hog on benefits, that they have never paid for. Later, they will be given berths in care homes at taxpayers expense, while I shall be forced to sell my house to pay for that same care. I rest my case, believe me I and millions in the same boat are very bitter about it.

Lord_High_Everything_Else: 1oo1 If the reduction in housing benefit does not apply to them then it means they are in their own houses or are already in downsized coiuncil housing.Private property is not 'social housing' and people in it can live in whatever size house they choose or can afford.

onebadmouse: Put simply, it is a clearance. It is designed to clear the poor from the "nicer" parts of London and other expensive UK cities. After decades of local council investment in infrastructure that make these cities comfortable to live in, our government are organising a sale of the best properties. Ken Livingstone needs to act.

adnos: How do you propose we "get rid of the left"? Send them to camps? Shoot them? You do realise that, much as it pains me to say, there are tens of millions of people we could class as "left". I'd prefer we not "get rid" of them, but argue our case again and again.

sirmichael: A bit like pointing out to the captain of the Titanic that we're heading for an iceberg.You can argue your case again and again and when we're all drowning  we're left shouting out "I told you this was going to happen! " The benefit system was never intended for the likes of Phillpott to be handed £55k a year from our money.And he was on benefits for nearly 10 years.

sircomespect: I agree. I think it is good to have a balance of opinion.  But the left don't like alternative opinion, which is why they prefer to insult and shut down debate with clichéd accusations of bigotry and a few 'ism's. When you get to the point where debate is impossible I can see why getting rid of the left is so appealing. 

simonward:   "How do you propose we "get rid of the left"?" I'd propose making them pay for their own silly ideas and then just let them starve to death… as happens in countries that adopt Marxist principles and no longer have any Evil Capitalists to screw for taxes.  I fully support people's right to go down a path of misguided self-destruction, but they have no right to drag everyone else along with them!

Tanneradozen: Oh no another Fascist looking for Socialists under his bed.Probably doesn`t agree with free speech or equal rights either for social democrats.