Posted by: iangilbert | June 25, 2012

Some Liberal Wisdom?

I wouldn’t usually link to a Lib Dem leaning think-tank approvingly, but this quite neatly outlines the problems with taking away housing benefits for the under 25s as David Cameron suggested today.

Now I don’t believe that anyone gets to be Prime Minister if they are completely stupid or that these questions haven’t thought of before. Neither do actually I think that David Cameron is actually evil enough to just ignore these questions and their implications and just make a phenomenal number of vulnerable people homeless.

What I do think is that Cameron is being cynical and callous. This is a dog whistle, a distraction, a scapegoating exercise. He is attempting to pass the buck for his economic failures.

He knows he can’t implement his policy and it wouldn’t save money even if he did. 1mn 16-24 year olds are unemployed. Many more will be employed on low-incomes unable to afford market rents. Are they all scroungers? Do they all have the option of living with parents or family? Don’t be daft.

However, he can now blame the Liberal Democrats for not letting him be as tough as he wants to be on welfare claimants. Those who don’t look behind the headlines will see him as tough on ‘scroungers’ without even having to make any of the difficult decisions that have to made on welfare.

Of course there’s always the possibility I’m giving David Cameron too much of the benefit of the doubt, that he is actually stupid or evil enough to go ahead with this. After all, I wouldn’t have thought that the government would take away benefits from cancer sufferers…

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