Wanting to knock £4.4bn off of the welfare bill through cutting tax credits raises some tough questions. The one that strikes me immediately is that calling it tax credits, though that is the form it takes, belies the content.
In fact, if it is anything it is a Business Employment Support Grant (BESG). Although it is awarded to workers, it is in essence a non-repayable subsidy to business.
So what’s it doing in the welfare budget? Why is it masquerading as a part of support for people in need when it chiefly enables a business to have a cheaper workforce, without which profits could not be made by businesses big and small?
Putting this into the welfare budget is another one of those inaccuracies that riddles the welfare budget. As a BESG it generates wealth to a large group of people who otherwise might not make the profits necessary to wish to pursue their business interests.
It is an investment by government and a welfare-saving mechanism. And though it encourages work, please don’t dump it into a poorly troubled welfare budgetry bag. Welfare needs to be used accurately for what it is intended to do, which is support people who are incapable of supporting themselves. People who need our generosity because otherwise they would become the wretched of earlier times, homeless and vagabonds.
Giving people encouragements to go to work is not an act of welfare. These are largely able-bodied people who could not survive on the slim pickings offered by the job market, by business. They are used as underpaid profit sources, with the lion’s share of their efforts bolstering businesses.