Friday, 23 January 2015

Your money or mine?

When is once not for you to be able be able to spend as you wish?
It's an interesting question put into focus the other day when a UKIP candidate suggested welfare claimants should not be be using taxpayers money to get about in a car.
One reason Mr Farage gets a free pass with me is he stepped in, indicated this wasn't party policy and arranged for the candidate to be spoken to about it which is quite right but I think he's done us a favour as mainstream parties have floated ideas of a similar nature before now.
I think one good starting point is to remember many UK citizens are also welfare claimants working or not as they get tax credits not just Job seekers allowance or payments for disabilities. 
Tax credits themselves are meant to make up the costs of say child care or the difference between what you might earn and what is recognized as cost of living in our society that can include the costs of getting about or of in the general sense of being entertained.
In that sense then, the proposition may not make sense as in some districts public transportation may be poor to non existent which the candidate suggest they ought to use and may even able a person to take up a job offer.
If for example I were to spend money on say model railways as a claimant, provided I don't go short, should this be prevented?
To me having been given a sum of money society recognizes as what it costs to live, I can find the money to it then is my choice and my right as an independent adult requiring no approval by some back bench Member of Parliament.
He has no more a right narrowly define what I spend any the more than I have of his which I pay for by taxes levied on me.
Some have argued in favour of specific vouchers to be given instead for say food provisions, clothing etc but it would be unlikely a legal requirement to accept would be put on all retailers so often the least expensive places would not accept and there is the problem of how that would work with online sales which many families use for food.
To me it's hard to argue on the one hand in favour of monthly payments, direct personal budgeting and bill paying on the grounds of treating everyone as responsible adults while pushing for a system more akin to treating them as children with preset allowances with limited redeeming.

No comments: