The Tory Party continues its war against the working poor. From the NewStatesman:
While the eyes of the world were on Greece, the Conservatives quietly launched a new assault on workers’ rights. Iain Duncan Smith announced that low-paid workers will lose their benefits if they go on the strike. Under the current system, workers on wages of £13,000 or less can claim tax credits. But under IDS’s proposals, there will be no increase in benefits if a worker’s income drops due to strike action. He said: “It is totally wrong that the current benefit system compensates workers and tops up their income when they go on strike. This is unfair to taxpayers and creates perverse incentives. Striking is a choice, and in future benefit claimants will have to pay the price for that choice, as under universal credit, we no longer will.”
Has it ever occurred to Ian Duncan Smith that low paid workers don’t strike for the fun of it – that they are protesting the pitiful wages and awful working conditions they are subjected to for a reason? Living on £13,000 in the UK is virtually impossible, so striking is one of the only ways people can negotiate for more. Take those rights away, and you solidify the existence of a permanent underclass and make it impossible to have any type of social mobility.
I guess that’s the point.
Ben Cohen is the editor and founder of The Daily Banter. He lives in Washington DC where he does podcasts, teaches Martial Arts, and tries to be a good father. He would be extremely disturbed if you took him too seriously.