In a supplication reminiscent of the entreaty at the base of the statue of liberty in New York harbour, the UK Work and Pensions Secretary appeals to those of the working class who, through no fault of their own, are unable to offer themselves up to full-time, long-term exploitation, to help reduce the financial burden of running this particular capitalist entity.
The MailOnline reports: ‘One million people on sickness benefits could be forced to start looking for jobs including thousands with mobility and anxiety problems as the Government gets set to slash billions from its welfare budget,
‘Why put workers through costly training programmes when there are ample skilled workers already available, albeit suffering ill-health or disability to varying degrees? Far better to meet the demands for a low paid, short-term casual and part-time workforce by scraping the barrel and getting the skilled disabled—specifically those who are suffering less than 65 percent disability—back into the labour market. With 2.8 million people of working age claiming benefits due to ill-health or disability, Harriet Harman, the Secretary of State for Social Security, intends to ensure their amount of benefits does not act a disincentive to them returning to employment.
This explains the emphasis Tony Blair places on “offering the opportunity” to those who are sick and disabled to provide for themselves with “appropriate support”. But such explanations also provide the means for the Blair government to distance itself from the present obligation of “provision of universal benefits for life” to a scenario of capping universal entitlement to incapacity and disability benefits to one, or two years, so that after that period means tested benefits come into operation’.
Socialist Standard March 1998