Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Capping It

I'm risking going a bit political today, and yet I'm still trying to see both sides.  The new benefits cap which the government plan to bring in seem, on the face of it, quite sensible.  It is quite ridiculous to have situations where people are being given up to £80k a year for doing nothing while most ordinary people wouldn't earn that in four years.  However, this isn't the case for most people and just one of those stories that the media like to bandy around as if it's the norm.  Most people still struggle on what benefits they get. And in some way there should also be an incentive to work, which sadly people need in the UK since there is very little 'work ethic'.
Then again, for someone who works hard and is in a good job, only to find themselves unemployed because of the economic climate, to have their benefits capped at just £26k for a whole year might see themselves and their family out of a home within nine months if luck doesn't come their way.  After all a lot of life is about luck, not just hard work.  But then you have the realm of one rule for some and another rule for others, and that cannot work realistically either.
The real deeprooted problem is that the only likely place for work is London.  Jobs therefore need to be spread around the country more easily, and much much more of them must be created.  Then of course housing has to be considered.  There is still far too little housing and far too high a cost, so landlords must be given some sort of incentive to charge lower rents.  Finally the costs of transport, and daycare for children, can be prohibitive for a lot of people, so these need to be addressed too.
The problem with all this is that it would take a long time to sort out, probably a similar length of time that the problems have been escalating for (roughly 40 years) and no government is ever going to be in for that long.  Therefore, sadly, a simple benefit cap is the only way forward for them.  And after all that, I'm still not sure where I stand, so here's a poem inspired by it all instead, called "Caps".

They give out their caps
Expecting us all to wear
They say that they’ll fine us
If our heads all go bare
Then they change all the sizes
And make us compare
If we wear the wrong one
It makes everyone stare
You think to speak up
But in the end you don’t dare
Yet if none of us speaks
Then they think we don’t care
That what was our home
Is a multinational lair
And we all have to swallow
That it’s supposed to be fair.

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