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Thursday, February 17, 2011

Clegg takes the sting out of housing benefit reform

This morning's Guardian reports that Nick Clegg has blocked some of the worst aspects of housing benefit reform, specifically he has intervened to ensure that plans to impose a 10% cut in housing benefit on anyone unemployed for more than a year have been dropped.

Plans for a universal benefit will go forward with Government sources saying that 2.7 million households will be better off as a result. More than 1 million will see an increase of over £25 a week, with 85% of the increase going to households with the lowest 40% of income.

Transitional protection will ensure that initially at least, there are no cash losers as universal credit is phased in from 2013. The paper says that in other changes, disability living allowance will be reformed by the introduction of a personal independence payment for disabled people.

There will also be measures to reduce fraud and error, including a single investigation service and a new mobile regional taskforce to investigate every claim in high fraud areas, along with civil penalties of £50 for lesser offences.

Although welfare reform is a difficult subject it was necessary to break the cycle of dependency that had built up. However, the role of the Liberal Democrats has been crucial in all of this, ensuring that the Government keeps it as fair as possible and helping to squash unreasonable changes.
The government are obviously in it for the long run.

They do not see it as declining or getting better.

A better solution would be unemployed working for some of the money. Jobsharing? Filling civil service desk jobs with wheelchair users would be a positive instead of DLA. The Able bodied who do the desk jobs out into the real world.

Instead of different names for the benefits the governemtn really need to look at a different paradigm. As technology and new advances will only ensure the unemployment will only grow rather than contract.
Jogger> spot on, yes there needs to be a new paradigm one based on, as you say, "technology and new advances" to "ensure that unemployment will only grow rather than contract".

This is a line of reasoning I have pushed for several years now, but unfortunately the role of IP protection is given a very low priority in Wales despite the glowing rhetoric that cometh forth from the lips of politicians.

In the USA the Obama administration, to its credit, is now placing considerable emphasis on reducing patent pendency (the time it takes for a patent application to issue) because this is seen as a way of boosting job creation. It is very sad that very few Welsh inventions and discoveries are not filed and patented in the USA.

Yes, Welsh inventions and discoveries can be filed directly in the USA even if they have been divulged to the public under the 12 month grace period rule where an inventor can still file for US patent protection up to 12 months after publishing their invention, and small entities (up to 500 employees get a special fee break by the USPTO (United States Patent and Trademark Office).

Thanks for your comment. My analysis is based on hands on practical experience in work. Machinery i have found lessens the need for human labour. In industry, agriculture and building.
Something one cannot necessarily read in a text book but I know it is a reality to peoples lives.
I consider myself one of the most durable guys around with a shovel in my hand. But not as quick as a mini-JCB that can cut trench's three times quicker than me. Other types of work as well. Hoists, flailing machines, hydraulic ground levellers . They are all quicker than people.
Governemtn should realise that it's all good for the peoiple creating these technological aids but ultimately not good for the utilitarian social fabric of humanity. Get to a stage that hardly anybody will be needed to do anything other than push buttons or yap on the telephone.
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