Thursday, 7 October 2010
He's read his brief - George Osborne announces that there's to be a maximum limit on the amount of benefit one family can claim. George told the Conservative conference the cap would be set at the amount "the average family gets for going out to work", which is about £26,000 a year.
He thinks that's eminently sensible and fair; why should people who won't or can't work get more than people who do work and contribute to the nation's well being.
He's a bright guy (a 1st in PPE at Oxford) and he thinks more about this: and by the time Culture Secretary, Jeremy Hunt appears on Newsnight he's concluded that if you're on benefit you have a responsibility to limit the number of children you have. Indeed this latter-day convert to Mao's one child family rule stated that if you had more kids than could be maintained by the Osborne benefit limit, tough cheese.So there!!
Oh dear, oh dear. You can kinda see what he's getting at can't you. Is it "fair" ( we'll soon be sick to the back teeth with that mantra) that someone who is in work and earning has to take responsibility for maintaining his family, whatever it's size, but someone not working doesn't have to bother. He doesn't say it but I think he means procreating all over the place and the state (that's you - hard-working and underpaid) funding the cost of diapers, Playstations and annual holidays in Florida for the randy bastards.
I'm afraid our Mr Hunt has been dumbing down - not something a man of culture should do. He's been scared by the horror stories in the Mail recently about a women with three kids by different fathers who spent her benefit money on breast enhancement, and a family of 12 who the Mail claimed "raked in" £95k a year.
I feel I should point out to Jeremy that these are scare stories: exceptions and that most people on benefit are like most other people. As has been pointed out to JH - many people on benefit were in full time work before they lost their job. Is our Culture Vulture saying that even if you had been able to support a large family, paid your taxes, contributed to the "Big Society", once you lose your job you and your "over the limit" kid(s) can go hang?
I'm afraid a lot of people are thinking he is and thinking as well that what we have elected is a Government ruled by a party as ideological as the dreaded "T" of 30 years ago.
Let's not get too carried away with all this. This is only the Culture Secretary speaking for goodness sake: what does he know? His website helpfully tells us. It doesn't look like he's had much experience of unemployment, large families or the benefit system. His constituency appears to have little experience of that either - classed as it is as "affluent countryside and residential". His constituency concerns appear, from his blog to range from the reduced opening hours of the ticket office at the local railway station to the closure of the local Lloyds TSB bank branch and the possible closure of Godalming post office.
He, of course, has "foot in mouth" form. It was he who when commenting on England's bad performance in this year's football World Cup ,and trying to put some sort of positive spin on that shambles, said he was: "incredibly encouraged by the example set by the England fans. I mean, not a single arrest for a football-related offence, and the terrible problems that we had in Heysel and Hillsborough in the 1980s seem now to be behind us."
Thanks Jeremy; haven't been to Sheffield recently I suspect.