The coalition’s benefit sanctions regime, under which more than 1 million jobseekers had their unemployment benefits stopped last year, has spawned hundreds of documentary accounts of claimants being penalised for capricious, cruel and often absurd reasons.
An Ideological programme that is manifested in the effects on the lives of real people.
Whether, philosophically speaking, you believe in welfare as a principle and the conditions in which it should be applied, the main problem here is the same across our current political spectrum – it is a system that is not fit for purpose. One could argue that the current situation is a direct result of Tory reform (whose ideology is fundamentally opposed to welfare in general) in blinkered service of the deus ex machina of ‘Economic Growth’, but in addition to this causality the main problems seem to be caused by the enemy of progress across parties – Bureaucracy (incidentally, another thing that the Tories pledged to reform, and New Labour is guilty of exacerbating).
The fact is, if you think people can lead a cushy life ‘sponging’ off the government, you’re sadly mistaken. Regardless of this, the Welfare State – including the NHS – is something that was conceived and incepted to represent a capacity towards the greater good, and it’s systematic dismantling that leaves some of the most desperate people in the country (particularly in this example seemingly people with mental health issues?) in hopeless situations, is quite frankly backwards.
But I suppose that’s what Conservatism is all about, at the heart of it.