Channel Four have certainly set the cat amongst the pigeons with their latest “fly on the wall” documentary provocatively named “Benefits Street” designed to reflect the main income sources of those residing in James Turner Street in Birmingham. We are but one episode into the series and already 17,000 people have signed a petition to block the airing of any further episodes and over 700 have complained to Ofcom that the programme is somehow distorting the reality of the sordid lives of the residents featured.
I watched the programme with the same despair as many others: enormous wastrels demanding their entitlement to the public purse, unemployable ferals raiding each other’s property to scavenge for whatever will bring enough ready cash to buy another can of lager or spliff to smoke. Happy to confess to any number of crimes, safe in the knowledge that no real deterrents exists and no judge will convict them of the petty theft that rules their daily lives: benefits fraud, shoplifting, thievery and violence.
Now whilst the show is blatantly and deliberately provocative, it is a damning tale worthy of any Dickens novel of the 19th century. Whilst Dickens attempted to shame the entrepreneurial Victorians into implementing some form of “social justice” to care for those who could not or would not better themselves, Benefits Street is a modern day attempt to shame the politicians who have imposed their warped idea of a solution on to countless millions who live as the residents of James Turner Street do. Blissfully languishing at the bottom of the heap, wrapped cosily in the blanket of universal welfare benefits. Not one person in the wretched cast expects to find gainful employment, fulfillment, happiness or satisfaction in life. So conditioned to accept their fate by a generation of promises that rapidly changed from “we will support your attempts to get on in life” to the ubiquitous “the State will support you, no matter”.
In just one decade, the State has managed to introduce a plethora of tax payer funded (well, borrowed) schemes that see the unemployed and feckless earning roughly the same as anyone working for a living. Hyperbole? Lets see, shall we?
The unemployed can claim child tax credit, housing benefit, child benefit, free school meals etc. up to a limit of £26,000 per year. Those on minimum wage can claim working tax credit, child tax credit and child benefit adding £10,000 on top of their £13,000 salary, but they can also claim housing benefit on top. They will pay almost no tax. Add all that up and they will have a post tax income of roughly £30,000. That’s around £40,000 per year Gross– whilst being paid a minimum wage of just £6.31 an hour. Nice work if you can get it!
The more you earn, the more benefits you lose. If you manage to get a job paying £32,000 a year, you’ll actually have the same disposable income after tax as anyone on minimum wage – thanks to the massive subsidies the government throws at the poor.
Move up to the £40,000 level and it starts to get better, but still you’re working 40 hours a week at a presumably skilled or managerial post (with the inherent responsibilities) and you’ll still only be around £4000 a year wealthier than someone on full state benefits.
Only when you hit the £60,000 a year or over bracket (and your benefits disappear completely) do you stand any real chance of keeping your own money and becoming wealthy, instead of a benefits addicted drone, submissive to a politicians promises – and you’ll still be paying a marginal tax rate of around 65% to the State.
Once you go above £60,000 you not only get taxed much more you also lose your child benefit. At this point it becomes logical to work fewer hours to avoid paying excessive tax, because once you are paying income tax at 40% and losing child benefit as well the marginal rate of tax is as high as 65%. In effect, only the elite (£60K+) are allowed to keep their money – the rest must run cap in hand to the State.
In just 15 short years, our children are now working 60 hours a week in professional jobs for the same disposable income as those who are currently relaxing on their tax payer funded sofas, watching their tax payer funded wide screen TV’s, tweeting on their tax payer funded iPhones in their tax payer funded houses in Benefits Street.
That’s the real scandal here – and that’s why the left are so determined to silence the critics. They’ve created the “equality” they wanted and it stinks.
For reference, tax freedom day this year is June 1st. Every single penny you earn until then goes to funding the residents of hundreds of thousands of feckless unemployable residents of your own local James Turner Street. Happy New Year, all…..